CLEVELAND -- The path for Grady Sizemore's return to the Indians appears to be clear.
On Thursday, Cleveland optioned rookie outfielder Ezequiel Carrera back to Triple-A Columbus. Sizemore, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list, is expected to be activated for the upcoming weekend road series against the Rays.
"I'm not going to give you the date," Indians manager Manny Acta said on Wednesday. "We haven't made the decision. We're expecting him to join us for the weekend, but the weekend stretches all the way from Friday through Sunday."
Sizemore has been sidelined since May 11 due to a right knee injury, which was suffered during a hard slide into second base in a game against Tampa Bay on May 10. The center fielder ran the bases at Progressive Field on Wednesday, passing what was considered the last test prior to being cleared for activation.
"I felt good," Sizemore said. "I was running the bases with no problem. Everything went well."
Carrera joined the Tribe's roster on Friday after designated hitter Travis Hafner landed on the 15-day DL with a right oblique injury. The young outfielder made an immediate impact in his first Major League at-bat, delivering a run-scoring, drag-bunt single as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning to help the Indians to a 5-4 win over the Reds on Friday.
Carrera appeared in five games for the Indians, hitting .250 (2-for-8) with a pair of RBIs in his first taste of the big leagues. With Triple-A Columbus this season, the speedy center fielder is hitting .317 with two homers, five doubles, two triples, 17 RBIs and 33 runs scored through 31 games.
Cleveland acquired Carrera, along with infielder Juan Diaz, on June 27 last season in the trade that sent Russell Branyan to the Mariners.
Carrera's arrival to Cleveland was a temporary solution while Cleveland dealt with the loss of both Sizemore and Hafner.
Sizemore initially rejoined the Indians on April 17 after spending the previous 10 months rehabbing from microfracture surgery on his left knee. He was limited to 33 games a year ago after injuring that knee in sliding incidents in April and May last season.
"I don't think I'm going to slide for the rest of the year," Sizemore quipped on Wednesday.
In 18 games this season, Sizemore has hit .282 with six home runs, 10 doubles, 11 RBIs and 15 runs scored. Without a Minor League rehab assignment, Sizemore is hoping that regaining his timing at the plate will not be much of an issue. He has been able to take batting practice regularly over the past two weeks.
"I still feel good," Sizemore said. "But there's nothing I can do in the cage or out on the field in BP that's going to simulate the timing of a big league at-bat. So there's definitely going to be an adjustment period."