Cleveland Indians center fielder Michael Bourn will take one step closer to returning to the 25-man roster when he begins his rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus Monday night. If all goes well and there are no setbacks, Bourn could return to the big leagues sometime later this week.
The 30-year-old was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 15, after he required five stitches to repair a cut on his finger. The injury occurred when Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Matt Thornton stepped on Bourn at first base.
The seven-year veteran will need several at-bats over the course of a few games in order to get his swing down again. Considering he missed the last 17 games, and has hardly been able to do any baseball activities, it will take some time for him to get adjusted to the speed of Major League Baseball.
“I just want to get a couple games under my belt before I step out on the big league field,” Bourn said, according to Indians.com. “I’ll just see some pitches and try to get my timing back as quick as I can. They’ll give me a few games to go and do that, and hopefully I’ll be ready to go after two or three games.”
Bourn is expected to play center field for at least seven innings Monday night. If there are no setbacks, he will suit up as the designated hitter Tuesday night. If Bourn is still healthy and feels ready to take on the task, he will play nine innings in center field on Wednesday. If all goes well, Bourn should then be able to reunite with Cleveland on Thursday.
Bourn is batting .333 with two home runs, two RBI, four doubles, one triple and one stolen base in 45 at-bats this season.