- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CLEVELAND (AP) - Rookie second baseman Jason Kipnis has been activated by the Cleveland Indians, who announced Tuesday that right-hander Carlos Carrasco will have reconstructive elbow surgery.

Manager Manny Acta, happy to have Kipnis back for the second game of a key three-game series against the Detroit Tigers, said Carrasco likely will miss the entire 2012 season.

“It’s a big blow to our rotation,” Acta said. “He’s going to miss a year and that’s hard to swallow.”

It was the latest bad news to a team decimated by injuries. Carrasco, out since Aug. 4, was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for right-hander Jason Rice, claimed on waivers from Oakland. The Indians assigned Rice to Triple-A Columbus and recalled infielder Luis Valbuena.

The Indians need as much help as they can get as they try to catch the first-place Tigers in the AL Central. Detroit’s 4-2 win Monday dropped Cleveland 7 1/2 games back, the Indians‘ largest deficit of the season. Cleveland still has six players on the DL.

Kipnis is basically rehabbing at this level,” Acta said. “He will play tonight, but not tomorrow. We will have to give him time off.”

Acta said Kipnis is healthy, but needs to ease back into playing regularly. Kipnis was in the lineup, batting sixth.

A month ago, Kipnis gave the Indians spark when called up from Columbus, batting .279 with 6 homers and 11 RBI in 18 games before going on the DL with a strained hamstring Aug. 14.

Trainer Lonnie Soloff said Carrasco will have surgery performed by Dr. David Altchek in New York on Sept. 14. Soloff said that tests on Carrasco’s arm early in the year, after the right-hander experienced discomfort, revealed an old injury.

“It was from when he was 14 years old,” Soloff said. “Over the years, with use, the ligament weakened and didn’t do its job until it came to this.”

Soloff said Carrasco and the team considered another option, having surgery to clean out the elbow, but when further tests revealed more damage, the decision was made to have reconstruction. The typical recovery time is 12 to 18 months.

Meanwhile, designated hitter Travis Hafner, out since Aug. 22 with a strained right foot, took full batting practice and ran on a treadmill.

Soloff said a decision will be made soon on Hafner’s future. If Hafner reports no pain, he could be cleared to play. Otherwise, surgery may become an option. In that case, the tendon would not be repaired or removed, but moved to another area in the foot to reduce discomfort and get Hafner ready for 2012.



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