MINNEAPOLIS — Cleveland Indians star shortstop Francisco Lindor’s recovery from a strained right calf muscle has been set back by another injury: a sprained left ankle.
Manager Terry Francona said Wednesday in Minnesota, where the Indians will start the season today, that Lindor was hurt running the bases in a minor league intrasquad game at the team’s spring training home in Arizona.
According to the team, an MRI test on Lindor’s ankle found a mild to moderate acute sprain. The three-time All-Star was previously ruled out for the opener because of the calf strain he suffered in early February. Because the timetable for that injury had not yet been finalized by the team’s medical staff, Lindor’s return from the ankle sprain was still being determined.
“I watched it on tape. He walked off the field,” Francona said. “But they’re trying to put their heads together to get some more information.”
In the meantime, Leonys Martin will likely bat leadoff in Lindor’s place. Rookie Eric Stamets will take Lindor’s spot in the middle of the infield, where second baseman Jason Kipnis will also be missing when the Indians face the Twins for three games starting. Kipnis has a strained right calf muscle, too, with Brad Miller and Max Moroff available to fill in.
Kipnis and Lindor will both start on the 10-day injured list, as will backup outfielder Bradley Zimmer. Reliever Tyler Clippard also won’t be ready for opening day, due to a strained pectoral muscle, but because he was in camp on a minor league contract he doesn’t have to be added to the roster yet.
Fortunately for the Indians, third baseman Jose Ramirez will likely be in the lineup after a scare Sunday when he fouled a ball off his left knee during an exhibition game. After intense treatment, Ramirez was able to resume on-field workouts Monday.
“He’s in good shape,” Francona said. “He’s ready to go.”
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