CLEVELAND -- The Indians were hopeful that shortstop Francisco Lindor would be able to rejoin the team on Thursday, the earliest date that he was eligible to come off the 10-day injured list from a right calf strain he suffered prior to Spring Training. However, a left ankle sprain he suffered last week in a Minor League rehab game will likely sideline him for a few more weeks.
On Wednesday, Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said that Lindor has been cleared to resume light baseball activities in Cleveland and after seven to 10 days, he will be re-evaluated to determine the next step. The team is not setting a firm timetable for his return. Although the club seems optimistic that the injury will not be a major setback. If all goes well through his rehab, the end of April or beginning of May could be a realistic goal.
“No specific date, but Frankie is champing at the bit,” Antonetti said. “He feels like he’s in a really good spot to tackle what’s in front of him and then move forward from there.”
The 25-year-old sustained an acute left ankle sprain while running the bases during a Minor League intrasquad game on March 26. Lindor was caught in a rundown between first and second, and Indians manager Terry Francona said that the dirt slid out from under Lindor's left foot, causing the mild to moderate sprain. He was at the tail end of his rehab process for the moderate right calf strain that he suffered on Feb. 6 while doing agility drills in Orlando, Fla., in preparation for Spring Training. The focus now is almost solely on the ankle and no longer on the calf, according to Antonetti.
“In Frankie’s words, as soon as he injured his ankle, he forget about the calf,” Antonetti said.
Lindor was seen by Dr. Robert Anderson in Green Bay, Wis., on Monday, who confirmed the mild ankle sprain. The Indians wanted to receive a second opinion from Anderson to assure that they would not be rushing the All-Star shortstop back too quickly. But the team was also looking for some good news in order to put Lindor back in the leadoff spot of the order. The club has gotten off to a slow offensive start, and Eric Stamets and Max Moroff, both of whom have been filling in at shortstop in Lindor's absence, have gone a combined 1-for-15 through the first four games of the season.