CLEVELAND -- Grady Sizemore's strong comeback has been slowed. He's hurt his other knee.
Sizemore bruised his right knee -- not the one he had season-ending microfracture surgery on in 2010 -- while sliding into second base in the sixth inning of Tuesday night's 5-4 victory over Tampa Bay, the Indians' 14th straight win at home. After being checked, he stayed in the game.
However, the three-time All-Star had knee soreness on Wednesday, so the Indians' medical staff decided to have him undergo an MRI.
Sizemore left Progressive Field to get the medical test at about 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday. Following an 8-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, manager Manny Acta said the tests showed no structural damage and that the three-time All-Star's status was day-to-day.
"It's good news for us," Acta said, adding that a decision on whether or not Sizemore will play in a matinee game Thursday would be made before the game.
Acta had expressed confidence before the game that Sizemore wasn't seriously hurt.
"Our medical staff doesn't think it's anything serious," Acta said. "But for peace of mind, we're just taking some precautions with him. It was scheduled from yesterday just to give him some peace of mind because of what he has gone through with the other knee.
"When you jam your knee on a bag, it's not going to go away right away so it's just to clear his head."
Sizemore has played exceptionally well since being activated on April 17. Despite the long layoff -- last season ended in May and he had surgery in June -- the 28-year-old appears to be close to being the same all-around player he was before getting hurt.
He's batting .282 with six homers, 10 doubles, 11 RBIs and scored 15 runs in just 18 games.
His return has only made the Indians better as they're off to their best start in a decade and lead the AL Central by 5½ games.
Sizemore was limited to just 33 games last season. He injured his knee while diving back into first base, and eventually underwent microfracture surgery, a procedure where tiny holes are drilled into the kneecap to promote scarring and repair.
Neither Sizemore nor the Indians were sure how he would be when he got back, but he's been at full throttle.
In Tuesday's game, Sizemore homered leading off the first, beat out a force play at second with a hard slide when he got hurt and made several nice catches deep in Cleveland's tricky outfield.
"That was good to see and he didn't show any signs or issues with his knee," Acta said. "It was probably the biggest test he's had so far."
The Indians aren't whole without Sizemore atop their lineup or roaming center.
"He makes such a huge difference," Acta said. "We were waiting on him -- just his presence alone. We weren't counting on him coming back pre-injury and have his 2008 type of form. Just to have him around, we feed off of him, the way he goes about his business, his presence and his defense. He has come out swinging the bat well, and put us one step higher to the way we were playing."
"He generates so much for us. We saw last year when he couldn't play how much we miss a guy like him."
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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