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Tomlin, Brantley take positive rehab steps

MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- Despite sitting atop the American League Central, the Indians have had to deal with a bunch of injuries as of late. But before their matchup with the Red Sox on Monday night at Progressive Field, Indians manager Terry Francona announced some good news for a couple of the team's injured players.

Francona said that both right-hander Josh Tomlin (left hamstring strain) and outfielder Michael Brantley (right ankle sprain) both took a step in the right direction with their respective rehabs. According to the manager, Tomlin threw a three-inning simulated game at Progressive Field on Monday, and All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley is back to throwing and hitting.

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CLEVELAND -- Despite sitting atop the American League Central, the Indians have had to deal with a bunch of injuries as of late. But before their matchup with the Red Sox on Monday night at Progressive Field, Indians manager Terry Francona announced some good news for a couple of the team's injured players.

Francona said that both right-hander Josh Tomlin (left hamstring strain) and outfielder Michael Brantley (right ankle sprain) both took a step in the right direction with their respective rehabs. According to the manager, Tomlin threw a three-inning simulated game at Progressive Field on Monday, and All-Star left fielder Michael Brantley is back to throwing and hitting.

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"The good part of it is even though [Tomlin's] really not ready to pitch in a game yet -- I don't think he's strong enough when he tests out with the trainers -- but the good part is he is still able to do the sim game," Francona said. "So when he gets the go-ahead, he'll come quick because he's still pitching. So that's really good.

"Brantley is doing baseball activities. He's not been given the go-ahead to run yet. But again, a little bit like Tomlin, because he is able to do baseball stuff, when he is able to run, it will come quick, hopefully."

Tomlin sustained the hamstring injury while fielding a comebacker in the fourth inning of a game against the White Sox on July 30. Although he finished the inning, he was removed from the game before the fifth inning and placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day.

Brantley injured his ankle on Aug. 8 in the fifth inning against the Rockies. The left fielder took a few steps over to his left on a routine fly ball to center fielder Bradley Zimmer, but he began to hobble before sitting in the outfield grass. The Indians placed him on the DL the next day.

Video: COL@CLE: Brantley falls, forced to leave the game

Worth noting

Jason Kipnis was not in the starting lineup for Monday's game against Boston, as Francona said he wanted to give the second baseman an off-day. Kipnis returned from a right hamstring strain on Aug. 6, but he re-aggravated the injury on Aug. 10 against the Rays. Kipnis was then given a few days off -- which helped him avoid another DL stint -- and returned to action on Aug. 13. He has played in every game since.

 "I actually tried to do it a couple days ago and he really fought me on it," Francona said, "which I think is a good sign, because it means he's starting to feel better. But I don't want to overdo him too quick. He's still not 100 percent, so we don't want to overdo that."

• Although the Indians placed Abraham Almonte on the 10-day DL on Friday with a left hamstring strain, the outfielder hit against Tomlin during Monday's simulated game.

 "I'm hopeful that when his time is up, we can maybe get him out to get a [rehab] game before," Francona said. "It's probably going to be pretty close."

• Francona said that right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall (right calf strain) and his wife are expecting a baby soon. Because of the baby and Chisenhall's injury, the skipper said that he has no timetable as to when Chisenhall will return to play in a rehab game in the Minors.

"I told Lonnie, 'Just have fun. Good luck. Give me a call when things slow down,' and then we'll kind of figure out what's best for him."

William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Cleveland Indians, Michael Brantley, Josh Tomlin