Shin-Soo Choo of the Cleveland Indians connects for the Indians' first hit in the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Shin-Soo Choo Injury: Indians Outfielder Returns From DL

Shin-Soo Choo underwent surgery to repair a broken thumb, and he'll be out at least into late August, and may be done for the year.

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Shin-Soo Choo Injury: Indians Outfielder Activated For Friday's Game

Cleveland Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch from the Giants’ Jonathan Sanchez during an interleague game on June 24 in San Francisco.

Choo had surgery on the thumb on June 28 and at the time, it was thought he might be out until late August, if not for the season.

Today, according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Choo will return to the Cleveland lineup:

Choo activated from DL. Indians designate Kearns for assignment.

As noted in the tweet, Austin Kearns has been DFA’d to make room for Choo on the roster. Choo wasn’t having a very good year — his season totals are .244/.333/.353 with just five home runs in 266 at-bats — but he had begun to come out of his slump, hitting .357/.500/.464 in the nine games before the injury. The Tribe could use his offensive punch, if he can return to the form he showed in 2010, when his .885 OPS got him to 14th place in AL MVP voting.

The Indians, currently three games out of first place in the AL Central, will face the Twins in Cleveland Friday night in the first of a three-game series.

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Shin-Soo Choo Injury: Indians Outfielder Has Surgery

Last Friday night, a pitch got away from Jonathan Sanchez - I know! - and hit Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo in the thumb. The pitch broke the thumb, and early estimates had Choo out of action for six weeks.

That timetable just grew longer. Buster Olney:

Shin-Soo Choo had surgery on his broken thumb today. Range of possible return before the surgery: back in late August to out for year.

So we've gone from six weeks to eight weeks or even the rest of the season. And even if Choo does come back before the end of the year, there's no guarantee that the Indians will still be in the race, or that Choo will hit like Choo.

Not that he'd been hitting like his normal self in 2011. That might be the silver lining here - the Indians have been competitive while Choo has underachieved. The team was counting on him to improve in the second half, but they've gotten this far without him making a big contribution, so this is a DL stint they might survive.

Austin Kearns, Travis Buck, and Shelley Duncan have all started games in right field since Choo got injured.

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Shin-Soo Choo Injury: Broken Thumb Sends Outfielder To Disabled List

For a team that's surprising the baseball world by contending this season, the Cleveland Indians have sure had a lot of rotten injury luck. Tonight, it was outfielder Shin-Soo Choo who went down with a fluke injury. Choo took a fastball from Jonathan Sanchez off his left hand, and he was diagnosed with a broken left thumb. The early reports are that he'll be out about six weeks.

In Choo's absence, the Indians will call up Travis Buck, who has been up and down several times this year with the injuries to Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner. Yet Austin Kearns just keeeeeeps on ticking. Baseball likes to think it's funny, but it really isn't.

Choo had been having a down season, hitting .245/.332/.355, but he has been one of the Indians more reliable hitters in previous seasons. Without Choo, the Indians will probably use Kearns and Buck in a de facto right-field platoon.

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