Indians playing it safe with rehabbing Bourn

Indians playing it safe with rehabbing Bourn

CLEVELAND -- The Indians have taken a cautious approach with Michael Bourn's latest comeback from a left hamstring injury. It will likely be at least one more week until the sidelined center fielder is cleared to possibly rejoin the Major League club.

On Tuesday, Bourn was slated to begin a Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Akron, playing five innings and manning center. Indians manager Terry Francona noted that Bourn (on the 15-day disabled list since July 6) would have his work load gradually increased over the course of the next eight days.

"That can be changed," Francona was quick to remind. "It's certainly on how he's feeling, but that's kind of the rough outline going in."

Following Tuesday's five-inning rehab game, Bourn is scheduled to play seven innings for Akron on Wednesday. The outfielder will have a day off on Thursday before continuing his assignment on Friday (seven innings) and Saturday (seven innings). Following another day off, Bourn is then slated to play in back-to-back nine-inning games.

When Triple-A Columbus returns home on Monday, Bourn will likely shift his rehab to that affiliate.

"It's been step by step," Francona said of Bourn's comeback. "What we'd like to get is where he can play without thinking about it."

Through 66 games this year, Bourn is hitting .267 with three homers, nine doubles, seven triples, seven stolen bases, 21 RBIs and 37 runs. This marks the third setback this season involving Bourn's left hamstring, which was surgically repaired -- albeit in a different area than the current injury -- in October.

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.