Kluber could return sooner rather than later

Kluber could return sooner rather than later

CHICAGO -- The Indians have not announced when right-hander Corey Kluber will make his return to the mound, but manager Terry Francona indicated on Wednesday that it might be sooner rather than later.

Kluber, who missed his scheduled start on Friday due to a strained right hamstring, is in Cleveland working through a rehab program. Francona said that he and the team's medical staff will meet with Kluber on Thursday to discuss the next steps in his comeback.

"We'll obviously get to look at him tomorrow," Francona said prior to Wednesday's game in Chicago. "My guess is that he'll be ready to pitch fairly quick, just because he feels really good. Obviously, he's champing at the bit, so we'll let it run its proper course, but as soon as he's ready to pitch and allowed to pitch, we'll pitch him."

As recently as Monday, Francona said that Kluber had been limited to lower-body workouts in the pool. He noted on Wednesday that Kluber is scheduled to do some sprinting drills in the outfield at Progressive Field. A bullpen session could also be coming soon.

"He's doing a lot of stuff now," Francona said. "He's doing pretty well."

Kluber last started on Aug. 29, at home against the Angels, and tweaked his hamstring while running in conditioning drills during the team's visit to Toronto soon after. Through 28 starts (200 1/3 innings), he is 8-13 with a 3.41 ERA, 219 strikeouts and 38 walks. Since beginning the season 0-5 with a 5.04 ERA, he has gone 8-8 with a 2.95 ERA.

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