Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley made his return on Monday, and the lack of any injury news is a great sign for Indians fans.
Cleveland Indians fans have spent a year searching for clarity on the situation surrounding Michael Brantley. Specifically, whether he will ever be able to make his return to the team on a full-time basis.
His return to Cactus League action on Monday, in which he had two hits and reached base three times, was a great sign, but it wasn’t one that made Indians fans too overjoyed. It was nice to see him back, but most of us have seen this story before.
Yet today offered no news on Brantley’s situation other than he is just taking it a day at a time. No injury news, and not even a hint of minor soreness that will lead the team to shut him down for any particular period of time. Just a normal day after a game.
And right now, the lack of any updates is great news for Indians fans.
Related: Brantley looks great in return
The team is not going to come out after one game and declare Brantley to be back for good, but any lingering injury problems would cause some announcement of him missing more time. He still needs rest some days before he can play every game, so no announcement of any kind today means he is just getting some time to recover after his first game back. Anyone who begins working out after time off can relate.
So while Jason Kipnis is set to miss some time, Brantley may be a player who is ready to go on Opening Day, just as he was throughout his career up until the 2016 season. It is not ideal to have Kipnis start the season on the DL, but having Brantley back would help the offense remain at an elite level.
The question will become how dominant can Brantley be after missing an entire season, but it is hard to lose any natural ability as long as he doesn’t have any lingering pain in his shoulder. If he feels fine, there is no reason to expect he won’t be the same player he was before missing last season.