Josh Donaldson hopes his absence for the Toronto Blue Jays is only a couple of weeks, but is unable to provide a timeline for his return to the lineup.
When Josh Donaldson arrived Sunday at the clubhouse on crutches, you could be forgiven for fearing something serious had happened. After all, the Toronto Blue Jays sent him for an MRI, as a result of tweaking his right calf during running drills on Friday.
As reported by the Score, the 31-year old did manage to make it to his media session without his crutches – albeit with a noticeable limp. Speaking to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi and the rest of the media, he did his best to alleviate any concerns.
Donaldson said: “I’m hoping it’s just a couple of weeks to get out there. But it’s something we don’t want to push too much just for the simple fact that we have a little extra time with spring training right now, and just making sure when I step back on the field it’s ready to go and I’m ready to be able to push it.”
The Pensacola, Florida native could be out as long as three weeks, although no official timeline is possible at this stage. Understandably wanting to be cautious, he should be good for opening day, barring any setback.
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Ironically, Donaldson’s preparation ahead of spring training, revolved around improving his body’s ability to cope with the everyday demands of baseball: “Most of my off-season was to hopefully prevent things like this, but it kind of shows up every now and again and we’re getting it taken care of and hopefully be strong for opening day.”
The 2015 AL MVP is one of the most important players on the Blue Jays’ roster. Last season he set career-bests for OBP and OPS, as he hit 37 homers and 99 RBIs, while maintaining his excellent play at third base.
At least from a historical perspective, Donaldson has proved to be an extremely durable player. He only missed seven games last season and averaged 158 appearances between 2013-15.
“Nothing more we can do, other than just (take it as it comes), until he gets to the point where he’s ready to go. But there’s enough time left, that he should be fine.”
Donaldson feels the same way: “I was excited about starting spring training and it’s just a little bump in the road right now. Whenever the time comes I’ll be ready.”
Do you have any concerns about Donaldson’s injury, or are you confident he will be back in the Blue Jays’ lineup by opening day? Share your thoughts in the comments section.