Crowe's chances limited by shoulder fatigue

Crowe's chances limited by shoulder fatigue

Crowe's chances limited by shoulder fatigue
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Trevor Crowe's chances of breaking camp as an extra outfielder for the Indians have hit an early snag this spring.

Crowe is currently battling right rotator cuff soreness in his shoulder, forcing him into the training room for rehab work while his teammates take the field for morning workouts. Right now, there is no established timetable for when Crowe can resume playing catch.

"It is definitely frustrating," Crowe said on Friday morning. "When you come in and the team goes out to stretch and then you go to work with the trainer, that's not a good feeling during the first week of Spring Training.

"It is frustrating, but as a professional athlete, that's part of the game."

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Crowe, 27, noted that the shoulder fatigue he is currently experiencing is unrelated to the elbow issue that led to an arthroscopic procedure to remove loose bodies from the joint on Oct. 15. Crowe said his surgically repaired elbow has been strong for the past few months.

"My elbow is fine. It's strong. It's good," Crowe said. "Since a month after the surgery, that was good to go. It's 100 percent healthy. There's just tenderness, tiredness, I don't know what you want to call it, [in the shoulder]."

Crowe said he arrived at camp in early January and began playing light catch at that point. Before long, though, the outfielder was shut down due to the shoulder soreness. Crowe said the current plan is to rest, with the hope that the shoulder can recover enough to avoid discussing possible surgery.

"It's just kind of a day-to-day thing," Crowe said. "We have to wait until it calms down to a point where I can start playing catch and continue to build and go from there."

The switch-hitting Crowe, who can man all three outfield positions, hit .251 with two home runs, 24 doubles and 36 RBIs in 122 games for the Indians in 2010. He is currently in the mix for a reserve outfield role off Cleveland's bench. Other outfielders in camp include Shelley Duncan, Travis Buck, Chad Huffman and Nick Weglarz.

Depending on the status of center fielder Grady Sizemore, who is returning from microfracture surgery on his left knee, the Tribe could have either one or two outfield jobs up for grabs as Spring Training progresses.

"We've just got to get him healthy," Indians manager Manny Acta said of Crowe. "I know it's tough for him, because he knows that he was competing for one of those spots. But there's plenty of time left."

As things currently stand, the Indians are hoping to have a starting outfield consisting of Michael Brantley in left field, Sizemore in center and Shin-Soo Choo in right, with Austin Kearns coming off the bench. If Sizemore is not ready for Opening Day, Brantley would shift to center and Kearns would become the starting left fielder.