Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis suffered an ankle injury while celebrating his team’s American League Championship Series victory. However, he has been cleared to return.

Continue for updates.

Kipnis Active vs. Cubs

Tuesday, Oct. 25

The Indians announced that Kipnis is in the starting lineup for Tuesday’s game.

Image of Kipnis’ Injury Revealed

Tuesday, Oct. 25

Francona Comments on Kipnis’ Injury

Monday, Oct. 24

According to the Associated Press (h/t Sports Illustrated), Indians manager Terry Francona said Kipnis rolled his ankle while embracing Francisco Lindor as the team celebrated its ALCS victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

The manager described the setback as a low ankle sprain.

Kipnis Has Been Essential Piece in Indians Lineup

Kipnis went through a brief down period in May, when his on-base percentage was just .306, but he bounced back with an .876 OPS in June and looked more like the hitter who was named to the All-Star Game in 2015. He finished the season with 23 home runs, 82 RBI and an .811 OPS.

The Indians have needed Kipnis’ production in the No. 2 spot in their lineup behind Carlos Santana as the primary leadoff guy and to help set the table for Lindor and Mike Napoli in the heart of the order.

Cleveland is fortunate to have the versatile Jose Ramirez, who had a breakout offensive season with a .363 on-base percentage and is capable of playing multiple positions in the infield, including second base.

However, the loss of Kipnis would have been devastating because of his importance to the lineup and underrated defense. FanGraphs‘ defensive value metric ranks Cleveland’s second baseman as the third-best defender at the position behind Boston‘s Dustin Pedroia and Detroit‘s Ian Kinsler.

The Indians need their full assortment of hitters in the World Series to support a rotation that features Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Kipnis is a key reason for Cleveland’s success in 2016.

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