Bourn could return to Tribe this week

Bourn could return to Tribe this week

CLEVELAND -- The Indians are becoming increasingly confident that center fielder Michael Bourn's latest hamstring issue will not require a trip to the disabled list.

Prior to Tuesday's game against the Twins, Bourn tested out his left hamstring with a series of running and agility drills in left field at Progressive Field. Indians manager Terry Francona and head athletic trainer James Quinlan closely monitored the workout.

"He did pretty well," Francona said. "He got out there, got some length to his stride, got some intensity to it, did some high leg drills, did some bounding back and forth. He thinks he's, at max, a couple days away [from playing]."

Bourn took part in batting practice and also tracked down fly balls on Tuesday. Francona noted that the center fielder is scheduled to run the bases on Wednesday, meaning that Bourn might be cleared to return to the lineup for the Tribe as early as Thursday.

During Saturday's game against the White Sox, Bourn exited due to tightness in his left hamstring. It is the same hamstring that he strained during Spring Training -- necessitating a trip to the DL to open the season -- and had surgically repaired on Oct. 5 after tearing it in September.

Bourn did not undergo an additional MRI exam this time, but said all indications are that the latest issue is a case of scar tissue breaking up.

"I have all my strength. [Scar tissue] is all it was," Bourn said. " It's been feeling better every day. The last time, I could tell [it was more serious], because it was more sore the next day that I got up. I could just tell the strength of it wasn't the same. I couldn't hold it up. It was mildly strained. This time, it's not that way. For the most part, I feel pretty good."

In 15 games this season, Bourn has hit .266 with one double, two triples, four RBIs, six runs and two stolen bases for the Indians.

Francona said placing Bourn on the 15-day DL on Tuesday was considered.

"We could've, but it doesn't sound like he needs that," Francona said. "We don't want to just force a guy to the DL. It's only been three days and he's only probably two away. You'd maybe be losing him for 10 days when you didn't need to. At the same time, we don't want to do something wrong for him, either."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for 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.