"Up until yesterday in the afternoon, I was really kind of holding out hope that Kip was going to be OK," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Instead, Kipnis will be gone for 3-5 weeks, but the nature of Kipnis' soft-tissue injury makes that assessment tentative.
"That timetable can vary," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "It can be shorter, it can be longer."
The Tribe will know more about Kipnis' recovery timeframe when he stops feeling pain.
"These types of injuries, we've got to let that thing settle down and get all the pain out of there before he can start doing physical activity," Francona said. "That's going to have a timetable of its own.
"My guess is that once Kip gets back to doing stuff physically, he'll come quick, because it's Kip. But we gotta get that thing healed first."
Kipnis has struggled this season, batting .234 through the first month with six doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs in 27 games.
Ramirez, meanwhile, brings a versatility from Columbus that will help him blend in quickly with super subs like Elliot Johnson and Mike Aviles. Ramirez played 14 games at second base, eight at shortstop and one apiece at third base and center field.
"He's impacting the games with his glove, his legs, his bat, energy, the kind of things we need him to do," Francona said of Ramirez. "As much as you don't want to see Kip get hurt, it's exciting to get a chance to look at Jose just a little bit."
Ramirez was hitting .319 with three doubles, four homers and 17 RBIs at the time of the callup. Ramirez appeared in 15 games last season with the Tribe, getting four hits in 12 at-bats and drawing a pair of walks.
Francona said Ramirez's previous experience would serve him well in his return to the Majors.
"I'm sure it helps him a ton," Francona said of Ramirez's 2013 callup. "The first time you come to the big leagues, I don't care who you are, I don't care what you say, you're nervous. It's your first time. Now, he's come back to a place where he knows most everybody and he's been through it a little bit."