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Indians' Kluber has cast removed, making progress

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber listens to a question during a baseball news conference in Houston. The Indians ace had the hard cast protecting his broken right arm removed and the two-time Cy Young winner is healing as hoped. Kluber underwent imaging texts Thursday, May 23, 2019, which showed that his ulna is mending.

CLEVELAND (AP) — The hard cast is off Corey Kluber's broken right arm, providing a dose of positive news for the struggling Indians.

Kluber, who may be months away from pitching in a game for Cleveland, said Thursday that he felt relief in having the cast protecting his broken arm removed after a few weeks.

"I can do a little bit more," said Kluber. "So that's good."

The two-time Cy Young winner underwent imaging texts, which showed that his ulna is mending properly.

"He got what we were expecting," manager Terry Francona said before the opener of a four-game series with Tampa Bay. Francona said the team's medical staff told him Kluber had "expected healing. So, he gets that cast off and he can start doing range of motion. And in two weeks he will be re-examined."

The right-hander broke his arm when he was struck flush by a line drive hit by Miami's Brian Anderson on May 1. At the time, the Indians said surgery wasn't needed, and it appears Kluber will be able to avoid an operation.

Still, it's going to be some time before he's back and the Indians, who have dropped three in a row, are trying to survive without their ace as well as starter Mike Clevinger. The 28-year-old Clevinger has made a quicker-than-expected recovery from a strained back muscle and is scheduled to throw another bullpen session Friday. It's possible he could go out on a minor league rehab assignment next week.

Kluber has been fitted with a protective brace. The 33-year-old ran sprints in the outfield before the Indians faced the Rays.

Kluber went 20-7 last season, and he's won at least 18 in each of the past three seasons. Before he got hurt, Kluber was struggling and had gone just 2-3 with a 5.80 ERA in seven starts.

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