X-rays negative on Kipnis' left hand after HBP

Second baseman hopes to return to rehab action Saturday

X-rays negative on Kipnis' left hand after HBP

CLEVELAND -- Jason Kipnis pulled off his glove and showed off the bruise on his left hand on Thursday afternoon. There was a little lingering swelling, and marks on his ring and pinkie fingers -- the result of an errant inside pitch during his latest Minor League rehab assignment.

"It's fine," Kipnis said. "Hopefully we're back in there Saturday."

Kipnis was hit on the hand by a pitch from Trenton lefty Justus Sheffield in the first inning of a game with Double-A Akron on Wednesday night. X-rays on the second baseman's hand came back negative for any fractures and, as Kipnis indicated, the hope is that he can continue his rehab assignment on Saturday.

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Prior to Thursday's game against the White Sox, Kipnis played catch with Indians head athletic trainer James Quinlan, but only threw. Kipnis emptied a bag of baseballs during the workout in order to avoid catching throws with his sore hand. He is hoping to return to hitting and fielding drills Friday.

"He just has a bruise, which is good news," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He'll miss a couple days. I think Saturday is best-case scenario -- playing. It's just going to be a matter of a few days."

Kipnis is currently on the 10-day disabled list with a right shoulder injury that flared early in Spring Training. He has appeared in three Minor League games, though he left Wednesday's contest in the third inning after the hit-by-pitch. The original plan was to have Kipnis play three consecutive games, but that program has been put on hold temporarily.

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Kipnis said he did not think there was any intent on the part of Sheffield, who was traded to the Yankees by Cleveland last summer in the deal that brought Andrew Miller to the Tribe. Sheffield and Kipnis battled for nine pitches, with the final one tailing in and off his hand.

"Sometimes when a Minor Leaguer sees a big leaguer in there, he gets amped up," Kipnis said. "He was hitting 95 [mph] against me, and 93 against everybody else."

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.