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Carmona, Hafner continue road back

Carmona, Hafner continue road back

CLEVELAND -- The Tribe's group of walking wounded has grown so much and stayed so constant that manager Eric Wedge now calls it "the crew."

It's a tight-run ship, "the crew," because no turnover is expected in the near future.

Right-hander Fausto Carmona and designated hitter Travis Hafner didn't have setbacks in their respective rehab sessions Friday, but both still face a long road before they're back on the field.

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Carmona threw two sets of 30 throws from 60 feet Friday and felt no soreness in his strained left hip. Wedge called it "a good day" but added that the Indians would re-evaluate Carmona's status Saturday before having him play catch from 120 feet.

Within seven to 10 days, Wedge hopes to see Carmona on the mound throwing in the bullpen and, after a couple rehab assignments, expects the right-hander back in the starting rotation shortly after the All-Star break.

Carmona, who signed a four-year contract extension through 2011 in April, was supposed to have a rehab assignment last week, but because of a recurrence of the inflammation in the hip, he was shut down for a few days. He has been on the disabled list since May 23.

Hafner, meanwhile, has improved the strength in his injured right shoulder 15 percent since his last assessment two weeks ago, but it still remains just 45-50 percent as strong as his left shoulder, Wedge said.

"We're not there yet, but we expect it to be better," Wedge said. "It's improved. We feel like we've got to get him a little stronger before he swings the bat. We'll keep testing it, keep working on it and we'll go from there."

Pronk, who was mostly ineffective for the first two months of the season and scuffled throughout 2007, was placed on the DL on May 30.

It's "slow and steady," Wedge said. "It's funky, but it is what it is."

Head trainer Lonnie Soloff will address the media Saturday to address specifics regarding Carmona's and Hafner's progress.

In other injury-related matters, second baseman Josh Barfield will have the cast removed from the surgically repaired middle finger on his left hand sometime next week. After logging just six at-bats with the big league club, Barfield was placed on the DL on June 17 and is still at least four to six weeks away from returning.

Two weeks removed from arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow, Victor Martinez wants to be back on the field today. Wedge, however, knows his catcher is nowhere near ready to return and will not speculate whether Martinez will be back on the short or long end of his original six-to-eight week prognostication.

"We'll have to really be careful with our evaluation vs. what Victor's telling us," Wedge said. "He's going to be looking to get back way early."

Until then, Martinez will just have to hang with "the crew."

Andrew Gribble is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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