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Indians' Carrasco not expected to miss time with leg injury

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

By TOM WITHERS

AP Sports Writer

CLEVELAND (AP) Carlos Carrasco finally caught a break.

Cleveland's oft-injured starting pitcher is not expected to miss any time with a left leg injury the team initially feared was more serious. Carrasco had an MRI after Tuesday's game, and the results were negative.

The Indians are optimistic he'll make his next scheduled start Sunday in Houston.

"It was really good news for Carlos," Indians manager Terry Francona said before Wednesday's game against Miami. "He'll be ready for Sunday."

The 32-year-old Carrasco got hurt in the fourth inning Tuesday night against the Marlins while covering first base. After running from the mound to the bag, he stumbled and fell as he attempted to catch an off-target throw from first baseman Carlos Santana.

Carrasco got up limping before throwing a few warmup pitches and finishing the inning. However, his leg tightened up while the Indians batted and Carrasco told Francona, who replaced him after four scoreless innings.

Carrasco wasn't worried the injury was worse than a bruise and was confident the tests wouldn't find anything more significant.

"It was just a bruise," he said. "I hit the ground really good, but other than that, there's nothing different. I'm glad everything is fine."

Carrasco said he has already done some stretching exercises and the medical staff has cleared him to do his normal routine between starts.

It's about time things went Carrasco's way. He's suffered injuries after being hit by three line drives during the past few seasons.

Last year, he missed three weeks after he was struck on the right elbow by a comebacker from Minnesota's Joe Mauer. Carrasco was sidelined for Cleveland's run to the World Series in 2016 when he broke his right hand after being nailed by Detroit's Ian Kinsler. And earlier that season, he suffered a bruised jaw after being in the face by Chicago's Melky Cabrera.

Carrasco also missed six weeks in 2016 when he strained his left hamstring while covering first.

Cleveland can't afford to lose Carrasco, a 17-game winner last season, for any period. The team is already without starter Mike Clevinger, who is expected to miss another two months with a strained upper-back muscle.

While Francona was relieved Carrasco won't miss any time, he said there's no use worrying about injuries.

"You can't do that," Francona said when asked if he held his breath when Carrasco went down. "Things happen and you don't know when they're going to happen or why. Just try to be prepared. The biggest thing is it upsets your bullpen, which makes it difficult. But guys gotta play."

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Updated April 24, 2019

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