When Indians right-fielder Shin-Soo Choo left the Tribe lineup late Friday's loss with an undisclosed right hand injury, no doubt Tribe fans gave a collective here-we-go-again moan.
It's an understandable reaction given that the Indians have already lost two other top players in shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and center fielder Grady Sizemore to injuries for a big chunk of the season.
But unlike Cabrera (forearm) and Sizemore (knee), Choo's right-thumb sprain doesn't appear to be one that will land him on the disabled list.
"He's a lot better today, he's improved," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "But were going to do an MRI (today) just to make sure everything is in order. We don't have a timetable for his return, but (since) he feels better today, it's encouraging...We're not anticipating this being a long term thing from what I've been told from the medical staff."
Choo left Friday's game late in the action after injuring his thumb while diving for Jack Cust's one-out double in the top of the eighth inning. Acta replaced Choo by moving veteran Austin Kearns move over to right field and inserting Shelley Duncan in left field in the top of the ninth.
It's the same outfield assignments for Saturday's game, with Trevor Crowe in centerfield as usual.
"Obviously, it's a big blow for us because (Choo's) such a big part of our lineup," Acta said. "But it's a team effort and some guys need to step up in his absence."
Choo is the Indians best candidate to represent the Indians in the upcoming MLB All-Star Game, leading all current Tribe batsmen in batting average (.286), home runs (13) and RBI (43). The All-Star Team members are to be announced Sunday at noon.