March 16, 2016

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) Cleveland outfielder Michael Brantley will play in a minor league game on Thursday, his first since injuring his shoulder last fall.

Indians manager Terry Francona made the announcement Wednesday. Brantley injured his right shoulder diving for a ball in Minnesota on Sept. 22. He hit .310 for Cleveland last season before the injury.

The 28-year-old Brantley had surgery on Nov. 7 to repair a torn labrum, and recovery was expected to take up to six months. But Brantley made progress quickly this spring, taking batting practice on the field last weekend.

The team and training staff plan to meet with Brantley to discuss if and when he can appear in Cactus League games.

The latest a team can backdate a placement on the 15-day disabled list is March 25. Brantley would have to spend the entire 15 days on the disabled list if he appears in a Cactus League game after that.

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