Sizemore will begin rehab stint on Wednesday

Sizemore will begin rehab stint on Wednesday

Sizemore will begin rehab stint on Wednesday
CLEVELAND -- Sidelined center fielder Grady Sizemore predicted that he would begin a Minor League rehab assignment by the end of this week. On Sunday, Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said such a prognostication was not inconceivable.

It has become a certainty.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that Sizemore will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Wednesday, when he'll serve as the Aeros' designated hitter. He will man center field for six innings on Thursday and will be reevaluated on a daily basis after that.

Akron's eight-game homestand wraps up on Thursday, so manager Manny Acta said Sizemore could join another Minor League squad before returning to the big league club. Triple-A Columbus plays at home on Friday and Saturday.

"Chances are, he'll stay [at Akron] for a few games, and then probably move to one of those other teams," Acta said.

Sizemore landed on the 15-day disabled list on July 18 after he sustained a right knee contusion and had surgery to correct a sports hernia. This week, the 29-year-old completed various baserunning drills, agility exercises and took batting practice, all without any setbacks.

"Everything has been good," Sizemore said. "We've given it as much time as we can to heal, and now it's time to ramp it up."

Sizemore has played in just 200 games over the last three seasons. Suffice it to say, he's eager to return to the diamond.

"I want to be back as soon as I can," Sizemore said, "and get out there and see how it feels, get my legs underneath me, get some games in in the outfield, get some swings in and see some pitches. I'm ready to go."

If the Indians were floundering in last place, 20 games in back of the American League Central Division leader, perhaps Sizemore wouldn't be as adamant about rushing back to the field. Instead, they entered Tuesday 5 1/2 games behind the Tigers in the Central. Still, Sizemore plans to listen to his body and play things cautiously.

"We're in a race right now, and there's definitely a sense of urgency to get back as soon as I can," Sizemore said. "I don't want to put my body at risk; I don't want to rush anything. I'm going to play it smart but also be as aggressive as I can ... to get back as soon as I can.

"We'll see how it goes, but hopefully, I'll be back here pretty soon. I don't want to waste any time. I want to get back here and get back in the lineup."