CLEVELAND — Michael Brantley’s chances of playing in the postseason for the Indians may be slipping away.
Cleveland’s All-Star left fielder has been told to refrain from any running activity for at least another week, giving him little time to possibly be healthy enough to play in the AL division series.
Brantley has hit .299 with nine homers and 52 RBIs in 88 games this season, his ninth with the Indians.
Brantley has been out since Aug. 8, when he went down while tracking a flyball. He visited a foot and ankle specialist earlier this week in Vail, Colorado, and the Indians said Dr. Thomas Clanton confirmed Brantley is dealing with a deltoid ligament sprain along with right ankle synovitis, a painful condition caused by fluid collecting in the joint.
The Indians said Wednesday that Brantley won’t run for another 7 to 10 days before being re-evaluated.
The AL Central champions will begin the playoffs on Oct. 5, and Brantley will be a longshot to make their roster — at least for the first round.
Brantley missed the entire postseason in 2016 after undergoing right shoulder surgeries. He played in just 11 games during the regular season and then had to watch in October as Cleveland made it to the World Series without him.
Brantley bounced back nicely this season, and was one of five Cleveland players chosen as an All-Star. He went on the 10-day disabled list in June with a sprained ankle, and the Indians initially thought he had re-sprained the ankle last month.
The pain has persisted, however, and Brantley hasn’t been able to run. He was still in a walking boot last weekend when Cleveland ended a run that included a 22-game winning streak by winning their second straight division title.
One of Cleveland’s most popular players, Brantley is in his final season under contract. The Indians have $11 million club option on the 30-year-old for 2018, and with his recent rash of injuries they’ll be faced with a difficult decision as to whether to keep him.