Encouraging news comes for Pronk

Encouraging news comes for Pronk

BOSTON -- Designated hitter Travis Hafner, on the 15-day disabled list since April 29 with right shoulder soreness, met with Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., on Monday to have his shoulder examined.

Andrews performed an arthroscopic debridement on Hafner's shoulder Oct. 14, 2008, after Hafner appeared in just 57 games, with a .197 average, five home runs and 24 RBIs, and spent 106 days on the DL last season. Hafner appeared in 17 games before going on the DL last month, batting .270 with four home runs and eight RBIs.

"Dr. Andrews feels that the soreness that Travis was experiencing in his surgically repaired right shoulder is not uncommon soreness after a procedure such as his," said Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff. "He's optimistic that Travis will return to game activities either when his 15 days are up or shortly thereafter.

"He expects a normal amount of post-operative soreness as you ramp up activities or as you're into baseball activities. That's what he feels like Travis was experiencing."

Hafner had an MRI on his shoulder in Cleveland on Friday, with the test results sent to Andrews for the exam Monday.

"All in all, very encouraging news," Soloff said. "No structural damage. No findings that would lead us to believe that it's going to be a prolonged shutdown. I spoke to Travis this afternoon, after undergoing therapy at Progressive Field. He says he feels very good."

The next step for Hafner will be to swing a bat, which could be this weekend or early next week, Soloff said.

"[Hafner] feels as if he could do it now," Soloff said. "But we're going to be as cautious as possible."

While a decision has not yet been made regarding the necessity of a rehab assignment for Hafner, an update on his progress is expected this weekend.

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.