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Hafner, Crowe nearing returns

Hafner, Crowe nearing returns

DETROIT -- It's a new shoulder that's giving Travis Hafner trouble these days, but the left shoulder problem doesn't appear nearly as serious as the one involving the right.

Hafner had his ailing left shoulder examined in Cleveland by team medical director Mark Schickendantz on Monday, and, in the words of manager Eric Wedge, the exam revealed "nothing extraordinary."

Pronk remained out of the lineup for the third straight game on Tuesday at Comerica Park, but it's expected he'll be back in the starting designated hitter slot on Wednesday.

"It's just a strained muscle," Hafner said. "One more day, and I'll be good to go."

Hafner said the left shoulder became sore from swinging last week and grew worse the first two days of the weekend series in Baltimore.

Shoulder issues are nothing new for Hafner, who has been battling problems with his right shoulder since Spring Training in 2008. He had arthroscopic surgery on the right shoulder last October and has been limited in his number of consecutive starts this season. Last week, he reached four straight days of action for the first time all year, only to have this new shoulder setback sprout up.

Another Tribe player on the mend, outfielder Trevor Crowe, joined the club in Detroit as he ramps up his baseball activities in advance of his activation from the 15-day disabled list. Crowe has been on the DL since Aug. 19 with a right oblique strain.

"It feels like Christmas to be back with the guys," Crowe said. "It gets a little lonely rehabbing at Progressive Field."

Crowe did some running drills, threw out to 135 feet and picked up the intensity of his left-handed swings. He could take part in pregame work for the remainder of this series.

While Crowe said he hopes to be back with the Tribe by the end of the week, Wedge said he wanted to see the outfielder in action over the next couple days before he announces a timetable.

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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