Gonzalez suffered a similar injury in spring training and had not played this season until Tuesday night when he aggravated it in his first at-bat in the game against Minnesota.
Gonzalez, 35, a two-time American League MVP, had not appeared in a game since May 21, 2004, because of a back strain suffered while a member of the Kansas City Royals. He signed with Cleveland as a free agent in the off-season. Gonzalez has played a total of 185 games since 2001 and has been on the DL 11 times in his career.
"I can't even imagine the frustration that he's feeling and the emotion that he's feeling right now," Manager Eric Wedge had told reporters after Tuesday night's contest. Cleveland had designated outfielder Craig Ludwick for assignment Tuesday. Casey Blake now will play right field.