Abdominal strain forces Kipnis out of Indians lineup

The Indians might have a decision to make at second base if All-Star Jason Kipnis has an injury that lingers more than a few days.  

Jerry Lai/Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

In a month in which few things have gone right, the Indians have been pretty fortunate in avoiding injuries. On Tuesday night though, it looked like that luck might have run out.

All-Star second baseman Jason Kipnis left during the fourth inning of Tuesday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels due to a right abdominal strain. Kipnis ran slowly to first base after grounding into a double play. Manager Terry Francona told reporters after the 6-4 loss that the injury occurred on the swing.

Kipnis said that the injury felt like someone punched him in the back and termed it as a mild strain. More will be known before Wednesday’s game.

"On the swing he felt it on the back of his right side and we were fortunate that he pulled up right away," Francona said. "He is a huge part of what we do. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that he shows up tomorrow and that it doesn’t feel worse."

Kipnis is batting .234 with three home runs and 12 RBI along with being tied for second on the team in runs scored with 12. Along with Michael Brantley, he is the only other Indians player to be in the starting lineup for all 26 games this season. Kipnis was at second base for all but one of those games, when he was the designated hitter.

Kipnis is 11 for 42 over the past 12 games with three doubles, a home run and five RBI.

Mike Aviles took over for Kipnis at second and got a hit in his first two at-bats. Aviles and Elliot Johnson would be options at second if Kipnis were to be placed on the disabled list or the Indians could call up Jose Ramirez or Justin Sellers from Triple-A Columbus.

Kipnis though is hoping that it won’t come to a stint on the DL, especially with the Indians struggling. With Tuesday’s loss, the Indians are 11-16 and have lost five straight.

"In the nicest way of putting it I despise the DL. I don’t like the training room. That’s the one thing we don’t need right now," Kipnis said. "The one thing we can rely on is the depth of the team. A .240 average isn’t hard to replace right now. They will be filling in just fine for me."

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