Indians exploring potential surgery for Hafner

Indians exploring potential surgery for Hafner

Indians exploring potential surgery for Hafner
CLEVELAND -- Time is not on the Indians' side, especially when it comes to the recovery processes of the team's injured players.

That's why when he was asked if the right foot injury to Travis Hafner -- on the 15-day disabled list -- could be season-ending, head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff gazed at his watch.

"Well, yeah, it's 15 days at least, and it could be longer," Soloff said. "Certainly if surgery is indicated, then that would mean [he'd be out for the year]."

Hafner strained a tendon on the bottom of his right foot as he tried to stretch a single into a double in the sixth inning of Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Tigers. On his trek to second base, he pulled up lame, attempted to scamper back to first and was tagged out. He retreated directly to the dugout, hobbling on one foot.

"Right away, it was really sore," Hafner said on Sunday.

Hafner originally suffered what Soloff termed a milder strain of the tendon on April 27, while sliding into home plate. He was held out of the starting lineup for the ensuing five games.

Soloff said that the course of action since then had been to let Hafner use the upcoming offseason to rest and immobilize his foot. When he reaggravated the injury on Sunday, that plan went out the window.

"He was feeling good and then it just began to linger," Soloff said. "He was adamant about his desire to continue to play and support the team, and then he injured it again on Sunday in Detroit."

Hafner had an MRI on Monday simply to determine if he could remain on the active roster. That option has since been ruled out, as the team placed Hafner on the DL. Now, the club is exploring whether surgery will be required.

"We're not clear at this point if surgery is indicated to fortify that tendon or if simply immobilization is the premium choice," Soloff said. "If surgery is indicated, it's unclear exactly what would be done there."