Bourn set to begin Triple-A rehab assignment

Bourn set to begin Triple-A rehab assignment

CLEVELAND -- The Indians offense has been on a roll of late, and that has been with a depleted lineup. Leadoff man Michael Bourn has been out with a right hand injury for the past three weeks, but is on track to return to the top of the order soon.

Cleveland announced Sunday that Bourn is scheduled to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Monday night. The center fielder, who has been taking regular batting practice for the past couple of days, will likely need a handful of games before being activated.

"I just want to get a couple games under my belt before I step out on the big league field," Bourn said. "I'll just see some pitches and try to get my timing back as quick as I can. They'll give me a few games to go and do that, and hopefully I'll be ready to go after two or three games."

Indians manager Terry Francona said the plan calls for Bourn to play seven innings and man center field in his first game. From there, Bourn will serve as a designated hitter in his second game, before taking on a full nine-inning workload as a center fielder in a third rehab game.

Francona said it has been nice to see the rest of the Tribe's lineup step up while Bourn has been sidelined.

"We never want guys to get hurt," Francona said, "but in the meantime, guys have taken advantage of their playing time, and it'll end up being good for us. Guys have some at-bats under their belt, and when you do need to go to them, they have some timing and they feel better about themselves."

Bourn suffered a laceration of his right index finger while sliding into first base in the eighth inning of a 3-1 loss to the White Sox on April 14. The deep cut required five stitches, and Bourn has gradually worked his way back with baseball activities since having the stitches removed on April 25.

Bourn -- signed to a four-year contract worth $48 million over the winter -- hit .333 (15-for-45) with two home runs, four doubles, one triple, two RBIs and seven runs scored in 10 games for the Indians. Cleveland has gone 9-8 in Bourn's absence.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.