Brantley examined; no timetable for return

Doctor confirms diagnosis of right shoulder impingement for Tribe outfielder

May 17th, 2016

CLEVELAND -- The Indians are not sure when Michael Brantley will be ready to take the field again, but the team is at least breathing a slight sigh of relief over his latest checkup.

On Tuesday, Brantley met with Dr. Craig Morgan, who confirmed that the Tribe's left fielder has an impingement in the rotator cuff of his right shoulder. Morgan met with Brantley in Wilmington, Del., and gave the outfielder an anti-inflammatory injection before clearing him to continue his ongoing rehab program.

Brantley was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday due to the shoulder inflammation.

"We need to look at the big picture and take care of him," Indians manager Terry Francona said on Saturday. "I think he understood, and I think this makes sense."

Brantley will technically be eligible to be activated from the DL on May 25, but his timetable for return is unknown at this point. After recently complaining of soreness in his shoulder, Brantley underwent an MRI exam on his arm on Friday, though nothing overly alarming was identified.

To be certain that the issue was not serious, Brantley opted to have a follow-up with Dr. Morgan, who performed surgery to repair a labral tear in the outfielder's shoulder in November. Brantley initially injured the shoulder during a diving catch attempt against the Twins on Sept. 25 last season in Minnesota.

Brantley opened the season on the DL and then hit .231 (9-for-39) with two doubles, seven RBIs and six strikeouts in 11 games after being activated on April 25. The outfielder opened his season with a 4-for-24 cold spell before breaking out with a 4-for-5 showing against the Tigers on May 5. Brantley went 1-for-10 in his three games after that performance, and did not appear in a game after May 9 due to the lingering discomfort.

"I think we've tried to do it appropriately," said Francona, referring to Brantley's return. "I think the trainers feel like he's in much better shape now than he was in Spring Training, which I think is [good]. ... [When] he comes back, hopefully he can stay back and not have to mess with this."