Lin­dor glad to get back at it

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - BASEBALL -

CLEVE­LAND — Fran­cisco Lin­dor missed all the lit­tle mo­ments. The big ones, too.

“Ev­ery pitch. Ev­ery out. Ev­ery cel­e­bra­tion af­ter ev­ery win,” the In­di­ans Al­lS­tar short­stop said. “It was ev­ery­thing equally.”

Side­lined for the sea­son’s first 18 games, Lin­dor was ac­ti­vated from the in­jured list Satur­day be­fore a dou­ble­header against the Braves. Lin­dor had been out since sprain­ing his left an­kle while running the bases in spring train­ing as he was re­hab­bing a right calf sprain.

For Lin­dor, the time away was dif­fi­cult.

“Miss­ing the flights. Miss­ing get­ting to a ho­tel, get­ting your room key and fig­ur­ing out what you’re go­ing to eat,” he said. “I missed that. I miss my team­mates. I miss the game. I miss the things within the game. It’s an honor. It’s a priv­i­lege to be healthy. It’s a bless­ing, and I ain’t tak­ing it for granted. I used to take health for granted. Not no more.”

Lin­dor did not play in Satur­day’s opener, but man­ager Terry Fran­cona had him back at short and bat­ting lead­off in the night­cap. He struck out in his first at-bat of 2019, but sin­gled and scored in the sec­ond in­ning.

“He’s one of the best play­ers in the game,” Fran­cona said. “He’s a dif­fer­ence maker everywhere: club­house, dugout, on the bases, at short, in the bat­ter’s box.”

Lin­dor will wear a brace on his an­kle, but said he won’t be lim­ited.

“We’ll see how I feel on a daily ba­sis, but I feel like I’m in a good spot,” he said. “I’m ready to play in a big-league game and not take any out off.”

TONY DEJAK/AP

Fran­cisco Lin­dor smiles on his way to the dugout af­ter scor­ing in the sec­ond in­ning.

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