Swisher, Walters ready to go on rehab assignments

Swisher, Walters ready to go on rehab assignments

CHICAGO -- Nick Swisher (surgery on both knees) and Zach Walters (right oblique) are expected to begin rehab assignments this week with the Indians' Triple-A Columbus affiliate.

Swisher, who's been taking part in extended spring camp, will join the club on Thursday and play on Friday, while Walters will begin his assignment on Wednesday.

"Zach's healthy; he's ready to go," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Swish, although he's busting his [tail], he's still trying to build up to kind of game speed, even though he's playing in games."

Walters should be ready to join the Indians soon. There's no timetable for Swisher, although it seems his assignment could be lengthy.

"Oh, I don't know," Francona said. "When you say a little while, rehab only goes 21 days.

"But I think what we've said all along is we want him to have the best chance of being healthy so he can come up and compete -- not hopefully get a hit and have to go 80 percent around the bases. That's not really helping anyone, especially as hard as he's worked. You want a guy to have a chance to go out there and be competitive, not just go from Point A to B."

The main question with Walters, a natural second baseman, is where he'll play. He could be used at multiple positions during his assignment.

"We just had a meeting about that the other day," Francona said. "What will probably happen is when somebody gets beat up or hurt, then you'll have a spot for him. We'll probably move him around a bit. I think the biggest thing is him getting his at-bats, getting his legs under him at the plate, and then wherever he plays, getting the reps to where he feels like, 'OK, if the ball's hit to me, I can make this play.'"

John Jackson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.