Kipnis ready to return as others hit disabled list

Kipnis ready to return as others hit disabled list

CHICAGO -- Jason Kipnis joined the Indians prior to Tuesday's game against the White Sox but won't be activated until Wednesday, when he'll start his first game since April 29.

The All-Star second baseman, who was placed on the disabled list May 2 with a strained right oblique, went 1-for-9 with a three-run homer in three rehab appearances with Triple-A Columbus.

"They went well. When you go through stuff like that, it's more about getting healthy and making sure that the body feels good," Kipnis said. "It's not about putting up numbers, it's not about anything like that or performance on the field. It's just, 'Do I feel comfortable and confident in my oblique now?' And I can go out and play a game and I think I'm ready to be back."

Kipnis wasn't overly upset about missing a game against White Sox ace Chris Sale but, of course, he wanted to play. He understood the team's decision to give him a day to get "back in the groove of things."

Either way, he feels he tested his oblique enough on his rehab assignment.

"Had some big swing and misses down there, so really tested it out on that," said a laughing Kipnis. "And once they saw that, they're like, 'He actually got some big swings in,' so they felt confident and it feels pretty good to go now."

Kipnis' return couldn't have come at a better time with Nick Swisher hitting the 15-day DL and Carlos Santana being placed on the seven-day concussion DL.

"I can't ever think of a good time not to get Kip back," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He's turned himself into one of the better players in the league, the way he approaches the game. I don't care if it's Sept. 30th or Spring Training. Having Kip back is great."

Joe Popely is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.