Baseball / Sports

Indians' Nick Swisher to seek second opinion on knee; David Murphy out 4-5 weeks

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Monday's MRIs brought ominous news for Nick Swisher and a disappointing timeline for David Murphy.

The Indians said designated hitter/outfielder Swisher will seek a second opinion after having his right knee examined by Rick Parker at the Cleveland Clinic and right fielder Murphy will miss four to five weeks with a right oblique strain.

Both were placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday.

Manager Terry Francona didn't want to discuss whether Swisher needs surgery. Swisher, signed to a four-year, $56 million contract in January 2013, spent May 27-June 11 on the disabled list with a hyperextended left knee and said he needed injections in both knees at that time.

"We'll get another opinion, then put everybody's heads together and see how to progress," Francona said before Tuesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Progressive Field.

Francona called it "hugely important" that the Indians find out what is at the root of Swisher's recurring knee problems. While he battled a shoulder injury last season, Swisher has averaged 150 games in his previous eight major league seasons. This year he's played in 97.

Francona called Murphy's oblique strain "mild to moderate." When Murphy spoke to the media Sunday at Yankee Stadium, he questioned whether the injury was serious enough to send him to the disabled list.

"The thing with obliques is they're going to heal on their own," Francona said. "That was the hard thing trying to explain it to Murph because he's like, 'It doesn't hurt that bad.' Unlike a hammy where you can loosen it up and go play, this thing you have to get the pain to go away so you can start doing some things."

Tyler Holt and Zach Walters, called up from Triple-A Columbus to take the roster spots of Swisher and Murphy, were in right field and at designated hitter, respectively, Tuesday.

The outfield could soon get a boost from the return of center fielder Michael Bourn, who's been on the disabled list since July 6 with a left hamstring strain. Francona said Bourn could rejoin the Indians this weekend, when they host the Baltimore Orioles for a three-game series. Bourn was scheduled to play nine innings Tuesday night in Columbus with the Triple-A Clippers.

"Bournie is doing really well. Last time he played he got down to first in times that are more Bournie-like, 4.1, sub 4.2s," Francona said.

"We've got to sit with Bournie and figure out how to get him to this weekend. We have a day off on Thursday and having him sitting for a couple days might not make sense. We'll figure out the best way to get him back here where he feels good about himself, 1/8but3/8 also has as many at-bats he can get without having too many because he's not quite ready to play every day."

Francona refused to let the injuries get him down.

"Sometimes when guys get hurt, rather than feel sorry for yourself, it creates opportunities for other guys and it can be a time when we can shine," Francona said. "That's when the team concept really kicks in and you pick each other up. When you do win that way, it becomes even more satisfying."

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