Hafner may return for Indians

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CLEVELAND (AP) — Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner received “encouraging” news from doctors about his foot injury and could soon return for the playoff chase.

Hafner has been sidelined since Aug. 21, when he injured a tendon in his foot after hitting a single. Manager Manny Acta has no timetable on a return for Hafner, who is batting .281 with 11 homers and 49 RBIs. Acta would not address if Hafner will need offseason surgery.

Cleveland’s offense has sputtered and could use Hafner back in the middle of its lineup. With Hafner out, the Indians acquired slugger Jim Thome in a trade from Minnesota last week.

Hafner initially hurt his foot in April on a slide. He has been in a walking boot and receiving daily treatments.