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Cleveland Indians

Crowe happy to be back in fold

By sstorm Published: May 20, 2008

The hand-made poster was a poor-man's version of the original, a take off the gigantic LeBron James' black-and-white that hangs in downtown Cleveland unfurled across the side of a large building.

Yet, athletic-taped to the wall in the Aeros dugout was an 8-by-10 color picture of Trevor Crowe, with these words crudely scrawled upon it for all to see: The Real King of the A.K.! We are all witnesses.

And so the Aeros popular left fielder returned home Monday as the Aeros began an eight-game home stand, suiting up for the first time since having to sit out with a lower back injury after playing in just the team's first two games of the season in early April.

"The last week of spring training it was sore, but I thought it was just a normal kind of soreness and stiffness,'' said Crowe, the Indians No. 1 pick (14th overall) in the 2005 draft. "But the red flag to me was once I started experiencing shooting pain down the back of my leg almost to my knee. That's when I knew something wasn't right.''

So Crowe went on the disabled list then spent two and half weeks rehabbing the back in Cleveland with the Indians trainers. Before he could return to the Aeros, he spent a couple more weeks at extended spring training in Winter Haven, Fla., where he eased back into the game.

That's when the hardest part of being away from his teammates hit Crowe, who is batting .214 (3-for-14) with a double, triple, RBI and four walks in four games this season.

"Every time you're sitting in your hotel room and it's 7 p.m., you get the feeling that you should be out there on the field,'' he said.

Crowe played in two games on the Aeros recent road trip to Reading, meeting the team bus as it arrived in town Friday with a surprise for his teammates.

"I was just so happy to see everyone, I said, 'Hug for everybody!','' the spunky Crowe said with a smile. "Right now, I'm probably the happiest kid in the lockerrooom.''

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