The Cleveland Indians confirmed today that Corey Kluber suffered a setback during a rehab start with the Columbus Clippers.
Medical update on RHP Corey Kluber pic.twitter.com/RFgj4ZGOcq— Tribeinsider (@tribeinsider) August 20, 2019
Corey Kluber suffered an internal oblique strain in his last rehab start. He's been shut down from throwing and will begin a rehab program. His time frame for return to game activity is TBD. He'll be re-examined in two weeks.— Mandy Bell (@MandyBell02) August 20, 2019
While a strained oblique is better news than, say, “elbow discomfort”, it casts doubt on whether or not Kluber will return to action this season. By the time Kluber is examined again, minor league teams will already be in the playoffs. The only stops at which Kluber would be eligible to make a rehab start are Columbus and Lake County. In a best-case scenario that gives two, maybe three opportunities for Kluber to pitch in another rehab assignment. This would require him being ready to pitch in games immediately after his check-up in two weeks.
While the likes of Adam Plutko, Zach Plesac, and Aaron Civale continue to pitch quality innings for the Tribe, it sure would be nice to have a healthy, 2-time Cy Young winner on the playoff roster. Kluber’s chances of returning by then now seem exceedingly low.