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Swisher improving in recovery from knee injury

Indians don't set timetable, but Francona said vet could join team for road trip

CLEVELAND -- The Indians are still staying away from declaring a firm timetable for Nick Swisher's return from the disabled list, but manager Terry Francona indicated Wednesday morning that the veteran is showing improvement in his recovery from an inflamed left knee.

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Francona noted that Swisher has resumed a variety of baseball-specific activites since landing back on the 15-day DL on June 14. The 34-year-old designated hitter and outfielder is coming back from August surgery on both knees, and he had some issues with the left one following his initial return to the lineup this season.

"He's moving around pretty well," Francona said prior to Wednesday's game against the Tigers. "Again, we'll see where this takes him this week. And there's always that fine line where you give a guy a little break and he came back and looks good, and as you start to increase the volume, does it get better? Does it even off? Does it get worse? But he's doing a good job right now."

Francona added that Swisher is scheduled to join the Indians for at least a part of their upcoming road trip through Baltimore, Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh.

Through 30 games this season, Swisher hit .198 with two homers, eight RBIs and a .558 OPS for Cleveland, which originally activated him from the disabled list on May 5. In the 10 games prior to being shelved for the second time, he hit just .097 (3-for-31). Swisher received an injection in the left knee a few days before being placed on the DL again, and he was given a second shot last week.

While Cleveland has not announced its plan for Swisher's latest comeback, Francona said that a Minor League rehab assignment made sense.

"I would think it'd be good for him," Francona said. "What we're going to do is whatever is in his best interest to getting back to being what he thinks he can be. And we'll talk to him about that, too. He's been good about it."

• On Wednesday, the Indians agreed to terms with their eighth-round Draft pick, right-hander Justin Garza. With Garza officially in the fold, Cleveland has now reached deals with 10 of its first 11 picks. Garza had a 3.05 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 65 innings for Cal State-Fullerton in 2015, but he is currently working his way back from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

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