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Hafner still a week away from rehab trip

Hafner a week away from rehab trip

CLEVELAND -- The dry swings in the bowels of Progressive Field will continue for Travis Hafner this week.

And the rehab assignment that will precede Pronk's activation from the disabled list is still at least a week away.

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Hafner took a week off from swinging the bat when he was placed on the DL with right shoulder soreness on May 30. He picked the bat back up over the weekend, but he's still not ready to see live pitching.

"We still need him to strengthen that shoulder," manager Eric Wedge said.

The shoulder began giving Pronk problems during Spring Training, and those problems lingered into a disappointing regular season, in which he was batting .217 with four homers, nine doubles and 22 RBIs in 46 games.

Even with this time off, the Indians can't guarantee Hafner will be back at 100 percent this season. This could be a matter that needs to be addressed surgically over the winter.

In the meantime, the goal is to get Hafner, who turned 31 last week, healthy enough to have an impact on the middle of the order, regardless of the percentage.

"Whatever it is," Wedge said, "we need to get him back."

The Indians have yet to release a timetable for when to expect Hafner back. Wedge said the hope is that Pronk's rehab assignment could begin a week from now, when the Indians hit the road for Interleague Play in Colorado and Los Angeles.

It doesn't sound as if the club is expecting his rehab assignment to be a long one.

"We'll play it by ear," Wedge said. "He's going to need to get some at-bats, but the sooner we can get him back, the better."

Hafner was not in the clubhouse as the Indians prepared for the opener of a three-game set with the Twins on Tuesday. He is an early-morning arrival to Progressive Field these days, getting treatment on the shoulder, doing strengthening exercises and taking swings.

"[The shoulder] had flared up on him, and now it's calmed down," Wedge said. "Now we need to strengthen it up. Hopefully, we can strengthen it to where it gets out of his way."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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