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"If it was during the season, we wouldn't do anything," Francona said. "There's just so much time to get ready that, to just kind of put a band-aid on it now just didn't seem to make sense. When they went and got it imaged, it's considered a cuff strain, which I think in the grand scheme of things is about the least you're ever going to find when you go do that."
Prior to Saturday's practice, Francona indicated that Kipnis would be in Sunday's lineup as the designated hitter against the Cubs. The manager had noted that Cleveland's medical team already had Kipnis working through a preventative shoulder strengthening and maintenance program due to his past shoulder troubles.
Francona noted that Kipnis will now be shut down from throwing for four to five days.
"I think from time to time he does feel it," Francona said. "I would probably say eight out of the 10 guys that are throwing, as they get their arms loose, you feel something. You throw through stuff and you get through the aches and pains of getting back. But then, when there's some history there, you just try to use good judgement."
Last season, Kipnis hit .275 with a career-high 23 homers in 156 games for Cleveland, compiling 41 doubles, 82 RBIs and 91 runs scored.
The Indians announced on Sunday that left-hander Tim Cooney is expected to be sidelined between 10-12 weeks with a strain of his left flexor digitorum superficialis muscle (mid forearm). Cooney, who was claimed off waivers by Cleveland from the Cardinals on Nov. 18, missed the entire 2016 season due to a left shoulder injury, which necessitated surgery in July.
Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. 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.