Gomes aggressive in approach to injury rehab

Gomes aggressive in approach to injury rehab

KANSAS CITY -- A few hours before Tuesday's game against the Royals, Indians catcher Yan Gomes positioned himself behind the plate at Kauffman Stadium. Gomes moved into the crouch and then worked through a series of throws across the diamond to second base.

It was the latest step in Gomes' effort to expedite his return from the disabled list.

"This kid is just attacking this rehab," manager Terry Francona said. "It's not surprising. He's everything you want in a player and, even when he's hurt, he continues to prove that."

Gomes sprained his right knee during a play at the plate against the Tigers on April 11 and Cleveland estimated that he would need six to eight weeks of recovery time. The catcher is a little more than three weeks removed from the incident and he is trying to beat the timetable.

Beyond the pregame throwing session, Gomes also took part in batting practice in the field.

"No matter how much time it takes. I also want to come back at 100 percent," Gomes said. "I don't want to push it and re-aggravate it. ... I don't want to get to a point where I'm setting a date. I'm just trusting the process. I think we're doing really well right now."

Francona said there is not a date on the calendar for the start of a Minor League rehab assignment for Gomes, but the manager noted that the catcher could work as a designated hitter at the beginning. Then, if Gomes is comfortable hitting, it is possible that he could rejoin the Indians as a DH and part-time catcher until he is completely comfortable with squatting on a regular basis.

"When we bring him back, he doesn't have to catch every day," Francona said. "I mean, as long as he's healthy, if he can catch every couple days, that's better than having him in Triple-A. We just need to make sure he's healthy."

In 135 games last season, the 27-year-old Gomes hit .278 with 21 home runs, 25 doubles, 61 runs scored and 74 RBIs for the Indians. For his work in the batter's box, Gomes won the American League Silver Slugger Award, recognizing him as the league's top offensive catcher in '14.

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.