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Hafner to begin running next week

Hafner to begin running next week

Hafner to begin running next week
CLEVELAND -- Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner is feeling good and doing everything in his power to return to the lineup as quickly as possible.

On Saturday, Hafner stood at his locker with a brace on his surgically repaired right knee, discussing his latest comeback attempt. Hafner has advanced to hitting in soft-toss sessions and noted that he will begin a running program within the next week.

The Indians indicated that Hafner would require of recovery period of four-to-six weeks following his surgery on May 31. That would put Hafner on pace to return by the end of this month at the earliest, or around the onset of the season's second half at the six-week mark.

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"I don't really know at this point," said Hafner, referring to his possible return date. "But everything is going really well, so hopefully I can be on the short end of that."

Hafner underwent a right medial meniscectomy at the Cleveland Clinic, and the 30-minute procedure was performed by Dr. Rick Parker and Dr. Mark Schicendantz.

This marks the sixth stint on the disabled list for Hafner over the course of the past five seasons. Hafner has previously been shelved due to right shoulder issues (2008, '09 and '10), as well as right oblique and right foot injuries ('11).

Through 39 games this season, Hafner is hitting .242 with six home runs, six doubles and 23 RBIs. After hitting .357 with a 1.081 OPS over his first 12 games of the season, Hafner posted a .189 average with a .693 OPS over his next 27 games prior to the injury.

Hafner remains uncertain about the knee injury's origin.

"I'd never felt that before," Hafner said. "I really don't know. I mean, the knee was really fine and just kind of that day during the game [on May 23] it got really sore running. I don't know the cause of it."

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