CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion left Friday's American League Division Series game against the New York Yankees in the bottom of the first inning with a right ankle sprain.
Indians manager Terry Francona was hopeful when he gave an update on Encarnacion's status after the game, a 13-inning thriller that Cleveland won 9-8 to take a 2-0 series lead.
"He went and got an MRI, and the results came back that he has, obviously, an ankle sprain," Francona said. "The severity of it, it's going to depend on how he feels. Right now they say he's day-to-day, which if that's the case, that would be tremendous. So we don't have to do anything.
"We'll see how he shows up tomorrow. We obviously don't want to rush into putting him on a DL. So we'll see how he does."
If Encarnacion is replaced on a division series roster, he will become ineligible for the championship series.
His ankle bent at a grotesque angle as he tried to return to second base on a soft line-drive out by teammate Jay Bruce.
Encarnacion had reached base after being hit in the knee by a pitch from Yankees starter CC Sabathia, and he advanced to second base on a Carlos Santana single. He was doubled off second by Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius on the Bruce lineout.
Encarnacion writhed in pain in the infield dirt before being helped off the field by Cleveland's training staff. He was unable to put any weight on his right leg on his way to the dugout.
The Indians said he was being evaluated by the team's medical staff to determine the extent of the injury, and he was later spotted wearing a walking boot and using crutches as he left the Indians clubhouse and got onto a cart. He had a suitcase and a backpack with him.
Encarnacion was replaced in the batting order by Michael Brantley, who struck out against Sabathia with the bases loaded to end a Cleveland threat in the bottom of the second.
The loss of Encarnacion for an extended period would be a significant blow to the Indians. The slugger signed a three-year, $60 million deal as a free agent in the offseason and has been Cleveland's principal cleanup hitter, leading the team with 38 home runs, 107 RBIs and a .377 on-base percentage.