Shin-Soo Choo, out since late June with a broken thumb, returns to the Indians lineup Friday night, a few days sooner than expected.
Choo made two minor-league rehab appearances at Class A Lake County, going 0-for-6.
If Choo can hit the way he did last year (.300 with 22 home runs, 90 RBI and an .885 OPS), he could give the Indians a big boost as they chase the Tigers in the American League Central. But Choo struggled this year, hitting just .244 with 28 RBI in 72 games before his injury.
After taking two of three from the Tigers this week, Cleveland is three games behind Detroit with 47 games to play.
To make room for Choo on the roster, the Indians designated Austin Kearns for assignment.
The Indians host the Twins this weekend. Minnesota will get Justin Morneau back from the DL on Friday.