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Brantley to miss at least 10 days with laceration

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Michael Brantley did not ask the doctors how many stitches were used to close the laceration in his left forearm on Monday afternoon. All the Indians left fielder was concerned about is how much time he is going to miss with the injury.

"I didn't need the details," Brantley said on Tuesday morning. "I just want to know when I'm coming back."

Cleveland is hoping Brantley will not be sidelined for too long.

Tribe manager Terry Francona indicated that Brantley will be shut down from all activities for a period of three days, giving the young outfielder time to heal after being spiked in the arm while sliding into third base in Monday's 14-10 win over the A's. Francona added that Brantley would likely need at least 10 days before being cleared for game action.

"It'll be a progression," Francona said. "We definitely want this thing to heal and heal properly. I'd bet you it'd be about 10 days. That's probably a pretty good estimate. There's not a reason to rush this thing whatsoever."

While Brantley is sidelined, the Indians will have an opportunity to rotate a handful of players through left field while evaulating their fourth outfielder options. For Tuesday's home game against Kansas City, Minor Leaguer Tim Fedroff got the nod in Brantley's position.

The injury occurred in the third inning on Monday when Brantley laced a double into the left-center gap at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Oakland used two cut-off men on the play, pulling third baseman Josh Donaldson away from his position. With no one covering third, Brantley attempted to take an extra base.

As Brantley slid headfirst into the bag, Donaldson stepped on the outfielder's left forerm. Brantley promptly exited the game and was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix, where he received 10 stitches (10 external and five internal). On Tuesday morning, Brantley was wearing a protective splint on his arm.

"I'm tough," Brantley said with a smile. "I've been stepped on once or twice. Who hasn't? But nothing to this magnitude. The cleat kind of got in there pretty good and left a nice little cut. They haven't really told me too much, just that they want to make sure I rest and make sure it heals."

In 149 games last season, Brantley hit .288 with a .348 on-base percentage in a breakout showing for Cleveland. Along the way, he mixed in six home runs, 37 doubles, 60 RBIs and 63 runs scored.

Brantley's injury also interupted a strong start to the spring slate. Through three Cactus League games, the left fielder had gone 5-for-6 with four doubles and two RBIs for the Tribe. Francona raved about that early showing.

"I wish you could bottle where his swing is at," Francona said. "He hit four doubles and he kept everything fair and he went from left-center to the right-field line. It was gorgeous."