CLEVELAND: Indians All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right oblique on Friday and is expected to miss 3-5 weeks.
An MRI on Thursday’s off day revealed that the injury will require an extended period of time to heal, warranting the placement on the disabled list.
In a corresponding move, infielder Jose Ramirez was recalled from Triple-A Columbus. Ramirez, Mike Aviles and Elliot Johnson will each play a role in filling the void left at second base.
A problem with an oblique strain, Kipnis said Friday, is that it can be similar to a hamstring injury. That means it isn’t something he can simply play through, and he must let it heal completely before he can return to baseball activities.
“If you push if and you reinjure it, you’re right back at step one,” Kipnis said. “It’s not something you want to linger on for the entire season.”
The 3-to-5-week timeline Kipnis was given — and was confirmed by manager Terry Francona and General Manager Chris Antonetti — was a ballpark range.
“As we know with soft tissue injuries, that timetable can vary,” Antonetti said. “It could be shorter, it could be longer.”
Kipnis said perhaps if he feels good after 12 days, he will start swinging and take it day-by-day.
But due to the injury having to completely heal before Kipnis can start swinging again, manager Terry Francona thinks the veteran infielder will be out a “minimum three weeks.”
“These types of injuries, he’s got to let that thing settle down and get all the pain out before he can start doing physical activity,” Francona said. “That’s going to have a timetable of its own.
‘‘My guess is once Kip gets back to doing stuff physically, he’ll come back quickly, because it’s Kip.
‘‘But we have got get that thing healed first.”
Francona said the Tribe will “do some mixing and matching” to determine who plays where each day.
The Indians do have quite a bit of versatility, thanks to Aviles and Johnson being able to play multiple positions and Ramirez’s call-up to Cleveland.
For Ramirez, it’s his second time getting the call to the major leagues. He appeared in 15 games last season and hit .333.
Ramirez was hitting .319 with four home runs, 17 RBI and eight stolen bases in 23 games at Triple-A Columbus this season.
Ryan Lewis can be reached at email@example.com.