Brantley: Hamstring injury 'nothing serious'

Brantley: Hamstring injury 'nothing serious'

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Center fielder Michael Brantley is optimistic that the right hamstring injury that has him sidelined will not persist to the point of him missing Opening Day for the Indians.

"It's nothing serious," Brantley said on Thursday morning at the Tribe's player development complex. "I look forward to getting back out there very soon. It's something that's just a little minor bump in the road."

Brantley exited Monday's home game against the Angels in the second inning after tweaking the hamstring while running out a grounder in his first at-bat. The center fielder said tightness flared in his leg while heading up the first-base line, and he knew immediately it was more than a cramp.

Cleveland's medical staff advised Brantley to leave the contest, and he is now in a three-to-five day shut-down period from baseball activities. Brantley indicated he resumed some exercise activity Thursday, but the Indians are having him work through a conservative return to baseball drills.

"It's better to be cautious at this point," Brantley said. "In Spring Training, the obvious goal for everybody in this locker room is to get out of here healthy. That's it -- be ready to go for the season. That's what I look forward to doing. Everything's going great right now."

The Indians want to take every precaution with Brantley, considering the club is already short center fielder Grady Sizemore. Earlier this spring, Sizemore underwent surgery on his lower back, which will require at least two or three months of rehab and recovery. In the meantime, Brantley is in the plans as Cleveland's leadoff man and center fielder.

Brantley, who hit .266 with seven homers and 46 RBIs in an injury-hindered season for the Indians a year ago, has been pleased with his progress in the batter's box this spring. Through 10 Cactus League games, he has hit .280 with three doubles, one triple, four walks, four RBIs and a .367 on-base percentage.

"I was feeling great," Brantley said. "I was feeling comfortable and putting up good at-bats. I'm seeing the ball really well this spring, which I'm really the most proud of. I'm really slowing down the ball, so I'm able to swing at quality strikes and not expand the zone too much. I look forward to keeping it going."