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Choo's health crucial to playoff hopes

The Sports Xchange
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After an off day Thursday the Indians will resume their homestand Friday with the start of a three-game series against Kansas City. It's the second series of a three-series, 11-game homestand that is critical for the Indians if they hope to remain in contention in the American League's Central Division race.

In the first series of the homestand the Indians lost three of four games to Seattle, while also adding to their injury list. Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo missed the last game of the Seattle series due to a sore left oblique.

Choo's availability for the Kansas City series remains a question mark. His status is listed as day-to-day. Choo's injury comes at a bad time for the Indians for a couple of reasons.

First and foremost, the Indians are in the middle of a homestand during which they need to win as many games as possible, given that they are six games behind first place Detroit in the Central Division. The second reason the Indians can ill-afford to lose Choo for any length of time is because the Indians already have four other everyday players out with injuries.

Outfielder Grady Sizemore has been on the disabled list since July 18 with a right knee contusion. Rookie second baseman Jason Kipnis has been on the disabled list since August 19 with a right hamstring strain.

Designated hitter Travis Hafner was placed on the disabled list on August 22 with a strained tendon on the bottom of his right foot. It's a potential season-ending injury for Hafner. Surgery has not been ruled out. The other injured starter is outfielder Michael Brantley, who has missed a week with a sore right wrist, an injury that could conceivably result in him being placed on the disabled list as well.

With all those injuries already affecting the team, the last thing the Indians need is another injury to a key player, which is why club officials are hopeful Choo will be able to return to the starting lineup sometime during the Kansas City series.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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