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Indians optimistic Encarnacion returns for game five

October 11 2017 6:45 AM

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona believes Edwin Encarnacion will be back for game five of the American League Division Series against the New York Yankees.

Encarnacion injured his ankle in game two of the MLB ALDS on Friday when he was trying to get back to second base after a Jay Bruce line out.

The 34-year-old stepped on the bag awkwardly and went down in agony. He had to be helped off the field and has not played in the series since, with the Indian and the Yankees tied heading into Wednesday's clash.

"I think so," Francona told reporters on Tuesday when asked about if the team's designated hitter would be back.

"We're going to, obviously, go through the workout. He's been hitting off the machine already, and we're going to have him go out and run just to see where he is running-wise. He was never exactly our biggest base-stealing threat, but we want to use common sense."

Encarnacion led the Indians in home runs (38), RBIs (107) and walks (104) this season. He also led all Indians starters with a .377 on-base percentage.

"It's ultimately the manager's decision whether I'll be in the line-up or not. But I'll be ready to play," Encarnacion told ESPN.

"There is no tomorrow and I have to do whatever's necessary to be in the line-up because I know that I can help this team win."

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