Kipnis held out for second day with back spasms

Indians second baseman expected to return to action this weekend

Kipnis held out for second day with back spasms

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Indians held Jason Kipnis out of the lineup Friday night for the second straight day, but Cleveland manager Terry Francona said the second baseman's back issue is not considered serious at this point.

"It's nothing [major]," Francona said. "We've all had it. You make a move and it grabs you and it's not going to let go until it wants to."

Francona noted that Kipnis tweaked his back while swinging in the batting cage Thursday, forcing Cleveland to scratch him from the lineup against the Mariners. The issue -- described as mid-back spasms by the club -- lingered into Friday, but the manager was optimistic about Kipnis' chances of returning to the lineup on Saturday or Sunday.

"I'd say he's tentative [for Saturday] and I'd bet you it'll be the next day," Francona said. "We'll see. We'll see how he does. I talked to him a little earlier and said, 'If you wake up feeling really good, give me a call.' But, it might be another day."

Worth noting

• The Indians have held utility man Mike Aviles out of the lineup for the past week due to soreness in his right elbow. Francona indicated that Aviles was "doing well" Friday and he could have been cleared to play against the Angels on Friday. Instead, Aviles is expected to return to the field Saturday against the Rockies.

• Right-hander Josh Tomlin (one of a handful of candidates for a spot in the rotation) logged roughly 60 pitches Friday in a Minor League game. Tomlin threw four innings against the Reds' Triple-A affiliate and then simulated a fifth inning in the bullpen.

• Veteran Nick Swisher was scheduled to run the bases again during Friday's workout as part of his ongoing comeback from August surgery on both knees. If Swisher continues to progress well with no setbacks, Cleveland will begin adding more position-specific drills to his rehab program in the coming days.

• Right-handed starter Shaun Marcum is scheduled to log four innings in a Minor League game for the Indians Saturday. Setup men Bryan Shaw and Marc Rzepczynski are also penciled in for an inning apiece in a Minor League environment Saturday.

• Former Major Leaguer Sean Casey, who was picked by the Indians in the second round of the 1995 First-Year Player Draft, is in camp with Cleveland this week as a guest instructor. Casey spent 12 years in the big leagues with the Indians, Reds, Pirates, Tigers and Red Sox.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.