On Wednesday, Hernandez worked through a four-inning simulated game and fielding drills to test his sprained right ankle. Indians manager Manny Acta said Hernandez showed improvement over his previous workout.
"He threw the ball very well and moved around better than the last time I saw him," Acta said. "We're going to see how he bounces back, how he shows up on Friday, and then we'll make a decision then."
Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said Hernandez's mobility -- the main concern for the ballclub -- was better.
"He's looking a little more confident and a little more smooth each time out," Soloff said. "That's a positive thing."
Hernandez, who sustained the ankle injury during an outing against the A's on Aug. 27, has gone 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA in three starts for the Indians. This offeason, the pitcher would become eligible for free agency if Cleveland declines his $6 million club option for the 2013 campaign.