BALTIMORE -- Indians catcher Carlos Santana took a step toward returning to the lineup on Saturday afternoon.
Santana went through a pregame workout with head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff and it is possible that the catcher might be cleared to play in Sunday's game against the Orioles. The catcher has missed the past three games due to soreness in his back and right side.
"We're just trying to get him on the field -- plain and simple," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "We just don't want to put him out there and jeopardize having him go on the [disabled list] or losing him for a longer period of time."
After taking a break from all baseball activities on Thursday and Friday, Santana did some hitting and played catcher prior to Saturday's game in Baltimore. The catcher exited Wednesday's game in New York after experiencing mid-back tightness. He had also been dealing with a right rib cage issue.
The Indians were pleased with Santana's progress on Saturday.
"We're satisfied with where he's at," Acta said. "So we're going to see if we're going to be able to get him out there [Sunday]."
Acta did not rule out the possibility of keeping Santana out of the fold until Monday, though.
Beyond the health woes, Santana also has been struggling with a persistent slump. Through the first six games of the current road trip, he was mired in a 1-for-16 funk. Dating back to May 18, Santana has hit just .151 (14-for-93) across 27 games for Cleveland.
Overall, Santana has hit .220 with five home runs, 11 doubles and 29 RBIs in 63 games.