"I asked him, 'If you had your choice, when would you play?' He said, 'Tomorrow,'" Francona said on Thursday. "I don't think that's going to happen, but I think that's really good news. That means he's not very far off and that the process is moving along quickly."
With Santana unavailable, the Indians are carrying two catchers: Yan Gomes and Omir Santos. When Cleveland deems Santana ready to return, as a backup possibility at the very least, one of the others will likely be sent back to Triple-A Columbus.
Through seven games, the switch-hitting Santana has hit .500 with two home runs, four doubles, four walks, five runs and five RBIs.
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.