If Michael Brantley is to play for the Indians again this season, it will more than likely have to be in the postseason.
The club gave an update on Brantley's condition today, saying the 30-year-old outfielder got a second opinion from Dr. Thomas Clanton in Vail, Colorado. Brantley will remain shut down "from all running activity" for at least another week, after which "he will be reevaluated to determine his readiness for land based running."
Brantley has not played since Aug. 8 after spraining his right ankle in the outfield against the Colorado Rockies. He had been a candidate for Comeback Player of the Year up to that point, batting .299 while being voted to his second career All-Star team.
By the most conservative estimates, Brantley would not even be ready to run until the final series of the regular season, making a return to the team before the playoffs all but impossible. It is unknown if the Tribe even feels Brantley could be available for a possible pennant run.
The Indians went to the World Series last season without Brantley's services, for the most part: The veteran played in just 11 games due to shoulder problems.
Brantley's recent injury issues also raise the question about his possible future in Cleveland: While the club could bring him back for $11 million via team option next year, they could also buy out his contract for just $1 million.
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