Kipnis frustrated but understands shutdown

Indians 2B 'in total agreement' with conservative approach to shoulder injury

March 14th, 2017

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- is adamant that he could play through his right shoulder injury if the same issue occurred in the middle of the season. This is not mid-summer, though. This is Spring Training, and the Indians are trying to prepare for seven months of baseball.

Standing at his locker inside Cleveland's clubhouse Tuesday morning, Kipnis expressed frustration over being shut down for two weeks, which most likely takes him out of the Opening Day mix. That said, the second baseman understands why the team's medical staff is keeping the big picture in mind with its conservative approach right now.

"There's no disagreement whatsoever from their move," Kipnis said. "I think it's the right move to do. I'm in total agreement with them, on the same schedule that they have laid out for me. It's just frustrating, just as anybody that wants to play."

Kipnis, who is dealing with a mild right rotator cuff strain, noted that he sustained the injury while throwing during an early-spring workout. Dr. Keith Meister will be traveling to Goodyear later this week to meet with pitcher (right elbow), but will also offer a second opinion on the images taken of Kipnis' shoulder.

There has been no indication the Indians believe Kipnis might need surgery. The meeting with Meister is more about determining the best approach for Kipnis to take in his rehab, according to Indians manager Terry Francona.

"That will help determine [Kipnis' rehab plan]," Francona said. "I think what they're going to do is, one, get another opinion by a respected doctor. And then, put their heads together -- all of them -- and then figure out what's the best course of action."

Kipnis -- who hit .275 with 23 home runs, 41 doubles, 82 RBIs, 91 runs scored and an .811 OPS last year for the Indians -- played in Cactus League games Thursday and Friday. After still experiencing some discomfort in his throwing shoulder, the Indians shut him down Sunday for a two-week period. Kipnis is currently working through a strengthening program, but is being held out of baseball activities.

Kipnis reiterated that he could play through the issue if it came up during the season.

"If it was midseason," Kipnis said, "we might be able to look at this different or we might be getting different reports, especially end of the year. We might be not even hearing about it. It's just stuff right now. It's March -- still three weeks before the season. We're going to take the time to do what's best to get rid of it instead of putting a Band-Aid on it."