- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Cleveland Indians and outfielder Michael Brantley finally have reason to be optimistic about his return this season.

Brantley has responded favorably to a medical procedure on his ailing shoulder and expects to resume baseball activities next week.

Brantley was placed on the 15-day disabled list in the middle of May with right shoulder inflammation. He had played in only 11 games this season, going 9 for 39 (.231) with two doubles and seven RBIs.

He recently experienced soreness in front of his shoulder and was shut down in the middle of a rehabilitation assignment.

Brantley subsequently had a needle inserted in his shoulder to relieve scar tissue buildup located along the biceps tendon.

“He felt significantly better after it,” head trainer James Quinlan said Friday before the Indians faced the Orioles. “A couple more days and he can get back onto a swinging program.”

Indians manager Terry Francona was greatly concerned after Brantley headed into yet another medical procedure.

“The fear is when you get tested that extensively you can almost find something on anybody,” Francona said. “So the fact that they really didn’t was great news. Now it’s just going to be a matter of days before he starts again.”

Now in his eighth season with Cleveland, the 29-year-old Brantley made the All-Star team in 2014 and totaled 181 RBIs in 2014 and 2015.

The Indians entered the weekend in first place in the AL Central, but they’d love to have Brantley back in the lineup. For now, he could be on course for an August return.

“The doctors were encouraged about what they found with the labrum,” Quinlan said. “It still looks good.”

In other injury news, Cleveland placed right-handed reliever Joe Colon on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and recalled right-hander Cody Anderson from Triple-A Columbus.

Francona said Colon was examined in Cleveland on Thursday. The pitcher will be shut down for several days, but Francona says the injury is “nothing structurally or anything.”

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