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Cleveland Indians

Branyan missing no longer

By Sheldon Published: March 12, 2010

Where was Russell Branyan? This morning, he was sitting in front of his locker after his workout regimen.

Nobody had seen much of Branyan the past few days. He has not played in a game yet, and his presence has been scarce on the practice fields.

Considering that he came to camp after missing the final month of last season with a herniated disc, his absence from the usual spring training venues raised a few questions, especially since manager Manny Acta had earlier said that Branyan would play in his first game on Wednesday.

But Branyan didn't seem at all panicky about his physical condition.

""I've been doing a lot of core strengthening this week,'' he said. ""I'm just trying to tighten up loose ends.''

Players who have disc problems try to strengthen the muscles around the injured area to take pressure off the disc.

Asked when he would play in a game, Branyan said, ""I'm not sure.''

Jeremy Sowers is another Indian who has yet to see actiion in a game. Sowers' problem? A sore shoulder that began bothering him last season.

But Sowers is working his way back. On Wednesday, he threw live batting practice, 32 pitches, and is scheduled to throw a two-inning simulated game today.

The injury has cost Sowers a chance to compete for a job in the rotation, but he might be able to throw enough innings to contend for a bullpen slot.

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