Justin Masterson injury update: Indians RHP could return Tuesday

Hannah Foslien

Masterson will finish out the regular season in the bullpen, could return to the rotation if the Indians reach the playoffs.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Justin Masterson could return from an oblique injury as early as Tuesday, reports Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer.

Masterson threw a 26-pitch simulated game on Sunday afternoon, with general manager Chris Antonetti and manager Terry Francona watching. He also made pickoff throws to first base and fielded grounders at Progressive Field.

The right-hander will work out of the bullpen if he pitches during any of Cleveland's final six games of the season, according to Hoynes. Masterson is happy to be back with the team in any role, telling Jordan Bastian on MLB.com:

"I'm just excited to get back in a game. However that comes, that one-inning situation, whatever it may be, critical or non-critical. Just getting back in the game, get the feet wet for this playoff run, and then hopefully a playoff run, that would be pretty exciting."

Masterson has been sidelined since Sept. 2 with an oblique injury. He pitched well when healthy, posting a 3.52 ERA over 189 1/3 innings.

The Indians enter Monday with a 86-70 record and a 1 1/2 game lead over the Texas Rangers for the final AL Wild Card spot. Cleveland will begin a two-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.

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