The Indians have updated the medical situation of key outfielder Michael Brantley in a team announcement (via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, on Twitter). While the door still seems at least theoretically open to a return at some point in the postseason, it’s now apparent that Brantley won’t make it back before the end of the regular season.
A recent examination revealed that Brantley has both a “deltoid ligament sprain” and “right ankle synovitis” — injuries which have kept him out since early August. He has been running on a specialized treadmill that keeps weight off of the lower extremities, but has yet to run on flat ground. Now, Brantley will rest for seven to ten days before he’s looked at again to see if he can begin to run.
Clearly, there’s no way Brantley will be cleared to play in a baseball game over the next ten days, meaning he’s not going to appear before the postseason. Presumably, he’ll require at least some ramp up time before the club would trust a postseason roster spot to him, too, making it seem quite unlikely that he’d be prepared to appear in the ALDS. Beyond that, should the club advance, it’s anyone’s guess.
The news means that the Indians won’t welcome back a key contributor as soon as had been hoped. Cleveland has played well without him — and that’s quite the understatement — but would no doubt prefer to plug in Brantley’s quality bat in left field. The loss stings all the more with youngster Bradley Zimmer also on the shelf.