CLEVELAND -- Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo remembers what happened the last time he attempted to come back from an injury before he was completely healed -- he aggravated the ailment and was shut down for the season.
That is why he is playing it smart with his left hamstring.
"It's still early in the season," Choo said on Thursday morning, "so I didn't want to make it worse."
Choo was out of the starting lineup on Thursday for the second consecutive game after exiting Tuesday's game against the Royals in the eighth inning because of the injury. He indicated that he is feeling much improved, and his hope is that he will be able to rejoin the lineup within the next couple of days.
The Indians opens a three-game weekend series with the Angels on Friday.
"I feel much better now -- a lot better," he said.
Choo noted that he'd actually felt some mild soreness in the hamstring prior to Tuesday's game but did not feel it was serious. It was not until the sixth inning, when he was running the bases, that he felt some more pain flare in his leg, and it worsened enough to convince him to exit before the end of the game.
"I've never had my hamstring hurt that much in my baseball career," he said. "It's tightness, so maybe it's OK. I've had tightness many times before during the season, but not that sore. It was the first time I felt like that with my hamstring, so I shut it down."
Choo returned from an injury to his left oblique on Sept. 14 of last season and re-injured his side the following day. He went back on the disabled list on Sept. 16 and sat out the remainder of the season. He wants to avoid a similar scenario this time.
"I really wanted to finish the game [on Tuesday], but I wanted to be smart about it," he said. "I didn't want to make it worse. I felt it a little bit before the game, but not that bad. Just a little bit. Last year I know it was a different kind of situation and injury -- the oblique -- but I tried to come back, and then I made it worse."