Indians second baseman Kipnis has finger surgery
CLEVELAND (AP) Jason Kipnis' tough 2014 season has carried into his offseason.
The Indians second baseman underwent surgery Tuesday to repair a damaged tendon in his left ring finger, an injury he sustained while working out with weights in Chicago.
Kipnis was examined over the weekend by team medical personnel and his operation was performed by Dr. Thomas Graham at the Cleveland Clinic. Graham stitched the tendon together and inserted a pin in the finger joint to stabilize it.
Indians head trainer James Quinlan expects Kipnis to be on the field when spring training opens in Goodyear, Arizona on Feb. 18. Quinlan said Kipnis should be able to run, field and throw, but that it may be a while before he can hit.
''We're optimistic he'll be able to do a lot in spring training,'' Quinlan said on a conference call. ''Recovery time is variable depending on how he recovers over the next five to six weeks.''
The Indians are hoping that Kipnis, who batted just .240 this season, will be ready for the start of the 2015 season.
Quinlan said Kipnis was re-racking ''a pretty heavy weight'' while training at his home when he got hurt. The weight slipped out of Kipnis' grip and his hand got pinched against the weight rack.
''When it initially happened, he sustained a pretty good laceration,'' said Quinlan. ''More recently, we began to notice that his finger motion and strength gradually declined. As soon as he started communicating his complaints, we brought him in to Cleveland to get looked at.''
The 27-year-old Kipnis was an All-Star in 2013, batting .284 with 17 homers and 84 RBIs in 149 games. But his production dropped dramatically last season as he hit just six homers and drove in only 41 run.
Kipnis signed a $52.5 million, six-year contract in April.