The Detroit Tigers expected second baseman Omar Infante to return from his ankle sprain right after the All-Star break. However, very slow progress has hampered that return date, according to MLB.com's Bobby Nightengale, and it is now listed as TBD.
Infante went on the disabled list on July 4 after spraining his left ankle during the Tigers' game with the Toronto Blue Jays. Colby Rasmus slid into him, forcing Infante to leave the game. Initial reports indicated that he would return right after the break. He has just started to hit off of a tee and run lightly. He is also taking fielding practice, but he is not quite game ready just yet.
Manager Jim Leyland said that Infante will work out in Orlando over the All-Star break. Leyland wants Infante to play a few rehab games with Class-A Lakeland, but he cannot indicate when that will occur.
Infante does not grab the headlines in the manner's that his teammates Miguel Cabrera, Prince Fielder, or Justin Verlander do. Infante, though, does help his team win games. He plays solid defense, moves runners, and drives in clutch runs with occasional power. He has a WAR of 2.3 through July 3, and he has found himself on contending teams for most of his 12-year career. The Tigers brought him back to Detroit for the stretch run in 2012.
This year, Infante is hitting .309/.340/.447 with 6 HR and 27 RBI, helping his team to an A.L. Central-leading 52-42 record. The Tigers lead Cleveland by 1.5 games heading into the All-Star break.
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