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Swisher set to ramp up rehab assignment

CLEVELAND -- Nick Swisher is almost ready to rejoin the Indians. And believe it or not, the energetic outfielder is excited.

On Monday, Swisher was on hand at Progressive Field to go through a workout and meet with manager Terry Francona, general manager Chris Antonetti and the team's training staff to formulate a plan for the coming week. The veteran outfielder played a pair of Minor League rehab games with Triple-A Columbus over the weekend, going 3-for-5 on Friday and 2-for-4 on Sunday.

"We spent some time with Nick today. He's made great progress," Antonetti said. "The way he's gone about his rehab has been extraordinary, with his mind-set and his approach and how committed he is to doing everything in his power to get back -- not only to get back as quickly as possible, but to get get back as quickly and as completely as he can."

Swisher, who is working his way back from surgery on both knees in August, is slated to travel to Rochester, N.Y., early Tuesday morning to continue his rehab with Columbus. Francona said Swisher will serve as the designated hitter on Tuesday, play right field on Wednesday and then play consecutive games again after a recovery day on Thursday.

Following that schedule, Cleveland will evaluate Swisher. It is possible that the outfielder could be ready for the Tribe's three-game road trip to Kansas City (May 5-7), or in time for the six-game homestand that begins on May 8.

"Offensively, I feel great," Swisher said. "Do I think I could come up here and help this team right now? Absolutely. But that's not the only thing I want to be able to do. I want to be able to help on both sides of the ball."

Swisher, who admitted to feeling some fatigue in the field by the eighth inning of his first rehab game, said he'll know he's back to 100 percent when he can play three games in a row in the field without any fatigue. The 34-year-old added that he did not realize at first how long the road back to Cleveland would be following his surgery.

"The injury was worse than what I thought," Swisher said. "I thought this would be something I could bounce right back from, just like I have [for] every other little injury I've had."

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for
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