CLEVELAND -- Nick Swisher is nearly ready to return to the Indians' lineup. The only problem now is that the lineup might not have a spot for him right away.
On Tuesday, Swisher tested his sore right wrist with some early work in the batting cage and regular hitting on the field, but the designated hitter remained out of the starting lineup for the second game in a row. Swisher might be available by Wednesday, but Cleveland will not have the use of the DH under National League rules in Cincinnati.
The lack of the DH for the two-game road series against the Reds will, however, allow Indians manager Terry Francona to ease Swisher back into the mix.
"That's probably sensible," Francona said prior to Tuesday's game at Progressive Field. "I don't know if he'd play tomorrow. We'll see where we are the next day. Some of it will be how he feels and some of it will be situational, depending on what we want to do."
Following the two-game set in Cincinnati, Cleveland will have the DH again during its upcoming three-game weekend series against the Yankees.
Through 93 games this season, Swisher is hitting .212 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs, piling up 106 strikeouts against 36 walks for the Indians. He injured his wrist while swinging the bat on Sunday, when he went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts against Texas righty Yu Darvish. Even with that showing, Swisher has hit .333 (8-for-24) in his past seven games.
Francona noted that Swisher might be available off the bench on Tuesday, though the manager added that Wednesday might be more realistic.
"He's vastly improved to the point where he can start being available," Francona said.