Hafner to put rested shoulder to test
CLEVELAND -- Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner, who's been out with right shoulder soreness, will begin a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Columbus.
Hafner was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 29 with the same injury that limited him to 57 games last year. Hafner said the shoulder is feeling better and "it's responded well to treatment."
No timetable has been set for his return.
"He has to go out and play," Indians manager Eric Wedge said. "We have to see how he handles that. He feels good, he feels stronger and the soreness is gone. We just have to see how he handles the volume before we get him back up here."
Hafner hit three homers in his first five games this season, but has just one since April 13. He is batting .270 in 17 games.
Hafner was told by Dr. James Andrews there would be periods of weakening in the shoulder, and times he'll have to do extra maintenance on it.
Hafner batted .197 with five homers and 24 RBIs last season, when he was on the DL from May 26 until Sept. 8.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press