CLEVELAND -- On the surface, it would seem that the signing of veteran Johnny Damon buys the Indians more time to take a conservative approach with Grady Sizemore's comeback from his lower back surgery.
Tribe manager Manny Acta said the two situations are not related.
"Grady is Grady," Acta said on Monday. "Grady has his schedule to rehab, and there are no names attached to the side."
As far as his rehab goes, Sizemore continues to make strides behind the scenes. Acta indicated that the sidelined center fielder is currently on pace to begin hitting in soft-toss sessions when the team begins its next homestand on May 16. Joining the ballclub for pregame batting practice on the field would likely come shortly thereafter, barring any setbacks.
Sizemore is eligible to be activated from the 60-day disabled list on June 3.
Prior to the start of Spring Training, Sizemore injured his lower back during fielding drills and underwent surgery on March 1. The initial timetable for recovery was two to three months, according to the Indians. It marks the sixth surgery (both knees, two hernia prodcedures, left elbow and back) in the past four years for Sizemore.
Cleveland signed the 38-year-old Damon on April 17, adding another experienced outfielder to the fold. Since joining the Major League club on Tuesday, Damon has primarily served as the team's left fielder, with Michael Brantley in center field and Shin-Soo Choo in right.