Indians' Encarnacion feeling 'much better'

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Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is encouraged by the progress being made by the injured Edwin Encarnacion.

Encarnacion sprained his ankle in gruesome-looking fashion in the Indians' thrilling 9-8 win over the New York Yankees on Friday.

"I don't know if remarkably better is a good way to say it, but he's pretty close," Francona said (via Cleveland.com ).

"He's doing much better today. I don't think he's going to start on Sunday, but he's not been ruled out either."

The fact Encarnacion may play in game three at all is a relief to the Indians.

At first glance Encarnacion's injury appeared far more serious than a sprained ankle. He had to be helped off the field by trainers in the first inning after jamming his right ankle trying to return to second base on a line drive.

Yet an MRI showed no fracture, just a sprain, and Encarnacion said he is day to day.

"There's no fracture, it's just the ligaments and I'm going to be day-to-day," Encarnacion said.

Given the relatively good news, Francona said he would leave Encarnacion on the Indians roster.

If he were dropped from the roster now, he would be ineligible for the American League Championship Series should the Indians advance. They lead the best-of-five American League Division Series 2-0.

"So we'll allow him to continue to get treatment," Francona said. "But if he's close to being available, that's a really good sign. So we're obviously not going to do anything roster wise."

Encarnacion hit 30 home runs and had 107 RBIs in his first season with Cleveland this year.

Francona said Michael Brantley will likely start as the DH in place of Encarnacion on Sunday.