CLEVELAND -- If the Indians are going to use the next month to pull closer to the postseason picture, they will have to do so without the assistance of veteran outfielder David Murphy.
On Tuesday, Cleveland announced that Murphy is expected to miss between four and five weeks after an MRI confirmed that his right side injury was indeed a strained oblique. Murphy could return in mid-to-late September, but rest is the most integral aspect of his recovery.
"The thing with obliques is they're going to heal on their own," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That was the hard thing in trying to explain it to Murphy, because he was like, 'It doesn't hurt that bad.' ... You have to get the pain to go away so you can start doing some things.
"You're kind of at the mercy of the oblique. I know that once the oblique goes away, Murph will go fast, because he wants to. I think most guys are like that, but you just have to let that thing heal."
Murphy, who was signed to a two-year contract last winter, is hitting .262 with seven home runs, 21 doubles and 55 RBIs in 109 games this season. The outfielder exited Saturday's game in New York with pain in his right side, landed on the 15-day disabled list on Sunday and underwent an exam on Monday to determine the severity of the injury.
"The way it was described was mild to moderate," Francona said, "which is not really all that surprising, because when Murph comes out of a game, I think we all knew that he had to be feeling it."