Carmona, Hafner recovering, but still not ready to return

Updated: June 28, 2008, 10:50 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Fausto Carmona and Travis Hafner won't be back with the Cleveland Indians until after the All-Star break.

Both are progressing from injuries, Indians trainer Lonnie Soloff said Saturday before the Indians played the Cincinnati Reds in the second of a three-game series. He added that it will take a little longer for Josh Barfield and Victor Martinez to return.

"Fausto did light throwing two days in a row and all went well," Soloff said. "And there's no doubt in my mind that Hafner will be back this season."

Carmona, a 19-game winner a year ago, had been sidelined since May 24 with a strained left hip. Hafner, the team's main power source, has been on the disabled list since May 30 with a weak right shoulder.

"Fausto did two sets of 30 throws from 75 feet today after doing two sets from 60 feet Friday," Soloff said. "He'll take Sunday off, then throw from 105 feet Monday."

Carmona suffered a setback about 10 days ago during a throwing session when the Indians were in Colorado.

Hafner has done no baseball-related activities since finally being shut down after his average had dipped to .217 with only four homers in 46 games -- a far cry from his production over the past four seasons. From 2004 through 2007, the slugger averaged 32 homers, 109 RBI and a .296 average.

According to manager Eric Wedge, the strength in Hafner's right shoulder has improved "about 15 percent, but is only about 45 to 50 percent as strong as his left shoulder.

"It's improved. We feel like we've got to get him a little stronger before he swings the bat. We'll keep testing it, keep working on it and we'll go from there."

Soloff said that Hafner's preseason physical showed no problem and that he was "somewhat surprised" at the results when the veteran DH was tested just before going on the DL.

"When we put all the pieces together, it all made sense," Soloff said. "The improvement we've seen this week is highly encouraging, but it is going to take more time."

Martinez, the Indians' all-star catcher who had no homers in 54 games, had bone chips removed from his right elbow June 13 and told the team he feels much better.

"We'll have to really be careful with our evaluation versus what Victor's telling us," Wedge said. "He's going to be looking to get back way early."

Second baseman Barfield and top pitching prospect Adam Miller are both scheduled to revisit Dr. Tom Graham on Monday. Both had finger tendons surgically repaired earlier this month.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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