MLB Teams
Jerry Crasnick, ESPN Senior Writer 16d

Indians' Michael Brantley making progress with ankle injury, could be in starting lineup Sunday

MLB, Cleveland Indians

Michael Brantley continues to make progress in his recovery from an ankle injury and could be in the starting lineup in left field when the ALDS shifts from Cleveland to New York on Sunday.

Brantley appeared as a pinch hitter in the 2nd inning of Game 2 after Edwin Encarnacion rolled his right ankle and had to leave the game. 

Indians manager Terry Francona said he'll know for sure after Brantley tests the ankle in a 4 p.m. workout Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

"I think he's getting to that point," Francona said.

A return to the lineup by Brantley, a two-time All-Star, would be a big lift for the Indians, who will try to go up 2-0 in the series Friday behind ace Corey Kluber.

Brantley, who missed 50 games over the final two months with the injury, is available off the bench in Game 2.

"He helps us win,'' Francona said of Brantley, who missed Cleveland's run to the World Series last year following two shoulder surgeries. "I'm excited for him because last year he missed out. This year, with a lot of hard work, he's now going to be a part of what we're doing. I know it will mean a lot to him, and because of that, it means a lot to us.''

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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