Indians' Trevor Bauer keeping arm in shape while recovering from leg injury

CLEVELAND -- Trevor Bauer isn't going to let a stress fracture in his right leg get in the way of throwing a baseball.

Cleveland's right-hander, one of the leading candidates for the AL Cy Young Award, will be out four to six weeks because of the injury, but that's not stopping him from keeping his arm in shape.

Bauer, wearing a walking boot, played catch from his knees with an athletic trainer Friday afternoon at Progressive Field, more than four hours before the Indians' game against Baltimore.

"It's something I can do every day, something I plan on doing every day, because the overall stress is way less relative to what I've been experiencing the whole season," Bauer said.

The right-hander admitted he didn't take the news very well when he learned he'll be out for an extended period of time.

"I was furious," he said. "I've pretty much felt the same way since."

Indians manager Terry Francona gave the timetable for Bauer's return Friday. Bauer says he believes he'll return sooner.

"We'll find out," Bauer said. "You're going to get a very different answer if you ask me that question and if you ask the medical staff that question, so probably should defer to doctors on that."

Bauer was hit by Jose Abreu's liner Saturday against the Chicago White Sox. He experienced soreness and swelling, and an MRI revealed the injury Tuesday when he was put on the 10-day disabled list.

Cleveland holds a 12-game lead over Minnesota in the AL Central entering Friday. The right-hander is 12-6 with a 2.22 ERA in 25 starts. He's third in ERA, second in innings pitched (166) and fourth in strikeouts (214) in the AL.

Bauer could return during the regular season in mid-to-late September. Francona says he knows the pitcher's arm will be ready.

"I think in about 10 days he can throw standing, and then in another 10 days, it's probably close to the mound work," Francona said. "My guess is his arm is going to feel pretty good."

Bauer says he believes some critics haven't fully recognized the kind of season he has had to date.

"I'm sure there's plenty of people out there that are happy about the fact that they get to ignore that I'm one of the best pitchers in the league for another year," he said. "They don't have to face that reality. ... But, they'll have to deal with it at some point."