Tribe targeting Sunday for Asdrubal's return

Tribe targeting Sunday for Asdrubal's return

KANSAS CITY -- The Indians have set Sunday as the target to have shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera return to the lineup following a bout with back spasms. That plan is very much subject to change, though, considering Cleveland has a scheduled off-day on Monday.

"If he's not quite ready, we have the [next] day off," manager Terry Francona said prior to Friday's game at Kauffman Stadium. "If he plays Sunday, he's feeling good, because with Monday off, we wouldn't rush him back. We'll keep monitoring him."

Francona noted that the Indians hope to have Cabrera available off the bench on Saturday.

Cabrera, who exited Monday's game in Minnesota with the back issue earlier on this road trip, has continued to increase his activity over the past few days. Francona indicated that Cabrera added baseball drills to his pregame workout on Friday and felt improvement physically.

"He's doing much better," Francona said. "He's moving around and doing some baseball stuff. Again, the idea would be where he could maybe be available and play Sunday."

Through 94 games, Cabrera has hit .247 with nine home runs, 22 doubles, 39 RBIs and 52 runs scored. With Cabrera sidelined, infielder Jose Ramirez has come up from Triple-A Columbus and handled the bulk of the duties at short.

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