Grady Sizemore batting leadoff in return from disabled list

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Grady Sizemore is back from the disabled list following a brief minor-league rehab assignment and in the Indians’ lineup today for the first time since July 17, leading off against the Tigers.

Sizemore was initially placed on the DL with a right knee contusion and then underwent sports hernia surgery while sidelined, missing a total of 44 games while the Indians went 21-23 in his absence and fell from a first-place tie in the AL Central to 6.5 games behind the Tigers.

He also missed three weeks with similar knee problems in May and Sizemore hit just .214 with a .289 on-base percentage and .377 slugging percentage in 43 games between DL stints. He’ll try to help the Indians stay in the playoff picture and with the team holding an $8.5 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2012 he’s also playing for his future in Cleveland.