Corey Kluber shut down for another two weeks, putting 2019 return in jeopardy

Another day, another MLB ace who might not make it back in 2019.

Two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber’s return to the Cleveland Indians’ rotation is looking uncertain after the club announced Tuesday that he’ll be shut down for two more weeks with an oblique strain.

Kluber, who hasn’t pitched since May 1 because of a broken forearm, was on a minor league rehab assignment over the weekend but had to be pulled from the game.

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Here’s what the Indians released about Kluber’s status on Tuesday:

Corey Kluber was removed from the game on Sunday, August 18 after experiencing tightness to his left abdomen during the first inning.

He was examined in Cleveland and imaging confirmed an internal oblique strain.

He has been shut down from throwing and will begin a rehab program. His time frame for return to game activity is to be determined and he will be re-examined in two weeks to determine his readiness to resume throwing.

Indians ace Corey Kluber hasn't pitched since May 1 because of injury. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Indians ace Corey Kluber hasn't pitched since May 1 because of injury. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)

Two weeks puts Kluber into early September, which gives him virtually no wiggle room for getting game ready by October. The good news is the Indians have been quite good lately without him — as they shook off their early season averageness and look like a strong contender in the American League again.

Carlos Carrasco, another good Indians pitcher, was impressive Monday night in his rehab assignment as he returns from leukemia treatment. The pitching is there for Cleveland, but they’d certainly welcome back Kluber who has been one of the best pitchers in baseball over the past few years.

At this point, though, you just have to wonder whether Kluber will be back at all during the 2019 season.

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