The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

June 18, 2014

Brantley to Clinic after suffering head/neck injury Monday

CLEVELAND — Indians manager Terry Francona made out two lineups for Tuesday’s game in the event that left fielder Michael Brantley could play or would have to miss Tuesday game against the visiting Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Brantley suffered a head/neck injury in Monday night’s game after a third-inning collision left him with a knee to the head by Angels shortstop John McDonald after he slide into second base trying to break up a double play that Jason Kipnis hit into to end the inning.

Although it initially seemed Francona would be able to keep the lineup with Brantley batting in his usual spot in the three hole Tuesday at Progressive Field, the idea eventually had to be scrapped and Brantley’s name scratched from the lineup.   

“He came in today feeling really good,” Francona said. “(But) he started to ramp up and didn’t feel perfect. We immediately took him out of the lineup and he’s going to go over (to the Cleveland Clinic) for further testing (to) get some imaging, things like that.

“If a guy has a bad hamstring and he plays and he pulls it, it’s not good, (but)  have a head injury and play and something happens, then you’re talking about something very serious. In the meantime, if we’re going to err, we’re going to err on the side of caution.”

Speaking to reporters about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Francona further noted that he expected to hear more about the seriousness of Brantley’s injury within the “next couple of hours”. In the meantime, the team has him listed as day-to-day.

“His neck’s stiff,” Francona said. “He felt a little pressure as he was starting to ramp up some activity. So, we’ll see.”

Brantley, the AL Player of the Week, is having an outstanding season. He is on an eight-game hitting streak, in which he’s batting .536 (15 for 28) and he’s hitting .377 since May 14. Brantley is second in the majors with eight outfield assists.

Brantley, batting .323 with 17 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs and 46 RBI in 69 games, was replaced in the lineup by Ryan Raburn, who patrolled left field against the Angels and bat ninth.

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