(Reuters) – Cleveland Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis is dealing with a sprained left ankle as he prepares for Tuesday’s Game One of the World Series against the Chicago Cubs.
Kipnis suffered the injury in “freak” circumstances when he hugged team mate Francisco Lindor in celebration in the moments after the Indians clinched a spot in the World Series by winning the American League Championship Series against Toronto.
Shortstop Lindor accidentally stepped on the ankle of Kipnis, who joked about it on Monday.
“I think I was getting too much of the spotlight so he (Lindor) tried to take me out,” Kipnis told reporters at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
“It was a freak accident. I just landed on it, rolled it. Hopefully we’ll be good to go by tomorrow night.”
Kipnis, 29, has played his entire six-season major league career for the Indians, after growing up in the Chicago suburb of Northbrook, where he was a childhood Cubs fan.
His family and many of his hometown friends still follow the Cubs, as he was reminded while watching Chicago win the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers on Saturday.
“It was weird,” he said. “All I was seeing on social media (from) all my friends from home, it was nothing but Cubs’ posts.
“You’re happy for all the friends and family back home rooting for the Cubs. It’s cool to see and I know the history of the team.
“I didn’t know how to really handle it. I couldn’t tell if I was happy, sad. I was emotional, choked up, what does this mean right now?”
If Kipnis has his way, the Cubs, who last won the World Series in 1908, will have to wait at least 109 years to end their title drought.
“I think a Tribe World Series would set this city off,” he said of Cleveland. “It’s always been a great sports town.”
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, Editing by Larry Fine)