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The Toronto Blue Jays infielder Maicer Izturis hits a foul ball against the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, April 5, 2013. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)
The Toronto Blue Jays infielder Maicer Izturis hits a foul ball against the Boston Red Sox at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, April 5, 2013. (Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

Blue Jays infielder Maicer Izturis announces retirement Add to ...

Maicer Izturis, we hardly knew ye.

The oft-injured 11-year Major League Baseball veteran, who was vying for a backup infield position with the Toronto Blue Jays at spring training here, announced Friday morning that he has decided to retire.

The 35-year-old Izturis put his heart and soul into trying to come back and play this season, but his body just wasn’t into it.

It has been a rough ride in Toronto for the slick-fielding Venezuelan, who signed a three-year, $9-million contract with the Blue Jays prior to the 2013 season.

In the second week of the season in 2014, Izturis slipped bounding down the dugout steps when the Blue Jays were in Baltimore for a series against the Orioles.

He heard two loud pops and it was later discovered that he had torn the ligaments in his left knee that required surgery, ending his season.

At spring training last year, Izturis suffered a groin strain and opened the year on the disabled list.

In mid-May, when he was on a rehab assignment in Florida, Izturis injured his shoulder and that also required surgery, causing him to miss another season.

Left-handed reliever Aaron Loup said on Friday morning that a sore left elbow that has been giving him problems while at camp here will require him to rest for another two weeks.

While Loup said he hopes he can be ready for opening day on April 3, Toronto manager John Gibbons said the setback might mean that he won’t be ready for the start of the season.

The good news, at least for now, is that doctors are telling Loup that the results of an MIRI indicate the elbow problem is just a tendon strain and won’t require surgery.

“It’s definitely a sigh of relief to come back, no ligament damage at all,” Loup said. “It’s just a strain, something that takes a little rest.”

Still, Loup is not happy with the development as he was counting on a strong spring to bounce back in 2016 after what was a subpar season for him last year.

“I came into camp feeling like I had a lot to prove after the season I had last year,” Loup said. “I wasn’t too happy about it.

“It wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great by any means. And I felt like I needed to get back on track. To have a little setback like this definitely hurts a little bit.”

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