Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had been hopeful that some of his walking wounded might be well enough to return to the lineup by the end of next week.
This likely will not be the case now for Edwin Encarnacion, the team’s offensive catalyst who has suffered a setback in his recovery from a right quad strain that has sidelined him for the last 15 games.
“Eddie had a little setback down in Florida, he was a little bit tender so we’ll back him off a few days,” Gibbons said Saturday morning in advance of Toronto’s afternoon game here against New York at Yankee Stadium.
“He was feeling it when he was twisting it, the torque in the swing,” Gibbons continued. “Other than that those guys are doing well.”
Encarnacion, Toronto’s first baseman and designated hitter, is a key component of the Toronto offence, leading the team in both home runs (26) and runs batted in (70).
The Blue Jays have struggled in his absence, going 7-8.
Along with Encarnacion, the Blue jays are also without DH Adam Lind (foot) and outfielder Nolan Reimold (calf), and third baseman Brett Lawrie (broken finger).
Gibbons was optimistic that Encarnacion, Lind and Reimold might be able to return to the Major League lineup by Friday.
While that timetable could still hold true for Lind and Reimold, Encarnacion’s setback takes him out of that equation.
It also means that Encarnacion will likely need a rehab assignment in the minors before he is able to return to the Blue Jays lineup, something that Gibbons is hoping that both Lind and Reimold will be able to avoid.
Gibbons said that Lawrie is also progressing with his injury but is still not certain when the third baseman can expect to start his rehab assignment.