CLEVELAND: Michael Bourn will start a rehabilitation assignment at Columbus tonight, which means he is close to ending a three-week ordeal because of a cut finger.
“I just need to see some pitches and get my timing back,” Bourn said Sunday. “It won’t take me long, two or three games.”
Manager Terry Francona thought it would be three.
Bourn suffered a lacerated right index finger when he slid into first base to beat out an infield single, and White Sox reliever Matt Thornton stepped on his hand.
“It was a weird thing,” Bourn said. “I didn’t even know what happened. I knew it hurt, but I didn’t know why. He didn’t even break through my [batting] glove.”
The cut required five stitches to close, and even after they were removed Bourn felt soreness in his hand.
“It’s taken about as long as I thought it would,” Bourn said. “It’s a pretty deep gash. I figure I’ll be ready to come back by Thursday or Friday. It’s going to be a little sore, but not to where I can’t stand it.”
Asked if it would be his decision to determine when he is ready, Bourn said, “It’s pretty much my call.”
Whenever Bourn is activated from the disabled list, a roster move will have to be made to accommodate his return. At the moment, the Tribe bullpen is stuffed with eight relievers, including Scott Barnes, who joined the team Sunday from Columbus.
Barnes probably is the most vulnerable player when Bourn is ready to come back.
But there might be complications involving Vinnie Pestano, whom Francona has stayed away from using because the setup man has tendinitis in the back of his elbow.
Pestano threw a bullpen Sunday and apparently felt much better.
“He’s doing well,” he manager said. “He should be available tomorrow. He threw today and had a good session.”
If Pestano is ready to pitch tonight, all well and good. If not, he might be a candidate for the DL.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at email@example.com. Read the Indians blog at http://www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.