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Kipnis making progress in rehab for oblique

TORONTO -- Indians All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis continues to inch closer to returning to the field.

On Tuesday, Cleveland manager Terry Francona said that Kipnis -- on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique -- recently resumed hitting off a tee. The second baseman is still working through a gradual rehab schedule, but the Indians are pleased with the strides he is making behind the scenes.

"He's doing really well," Francona said prior to Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays. "He's hitting off a tee and stuff. They're starting to try to line up a program to return to play. He's still a little ways from that, but he's making good progress."

On April 29, Kipnis was injured on a swing in a fourth-inning at-bat against the Angels. The second baseman promptly exited and Cleveland placed him on the 15-day DL on May 2. The Indians initially projected that Kipnis would need between three to five weeks to recover prior to being activated.

That timeframe consists of the period between May 20-June 3, though the Indians have been careful not to say specifically when Kipnis might rejoin the team. Francona did say on Tuesday that Kipnis will need to take part in a Minor League rehab assignment before coming off the DL.

Through 27 games this season, Kipnis has hit .234 with three home runs, six doubles, four stolen bases, 12 RBIs, 17 walks and 12 runs scored. On April 4, Cleveland inked Kipnis to a six-year contract extension worth $52.5 million.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian.
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