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Arencibia out for six weeks after breaking hand against Oakland

Toronto Blue Jays J.P Arencibia hands the ball to pitcher Ricky Romero during second inning action against the Oakland Athletics in Toronto on Wednesday, July 24, 2012

Aaron Vincent Elkaim/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia broke his right hand on a foul tip Wednesday night and is expected to miss six weeks.

Arencibia was hit during the Oakland Athletics' eight-run second inning. He finished the inning, but Jeff Mathis pinch hit for him to start the bottom half.

Arencibia is hitting .242 with 16 home runs and 50 runs batted in.

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The injury-ravaged Blue Jays already have 10 players on the disabled list, including defending home run champion Jose Bautista (left wrist) and nine pitchers.

But there is a bright side. The Jays finally appear to be seeing some relief from the injury bug that has been a constant companion for much of the season.

Toronto manager John Farrell reported on Wednesday that the shoulder surgery closer Sergio Santos underwent in California on Tuesday yielded nothing but the best possible results under the circumstances.

"Some wear and tear in the joint, no specific tears of any kind," Farrell said before Wednesday's game against the Athletics at Rogers Centre. "So it was a general clean-out."

Santos has been out since April after complaining of soreness in his right throwing shoulder during a game in Kansas City.

It was hoped initially that a strengthening regimen would fix the problem.

But when the pain persisted when Santos attempted to throw earlier this month surgery was finally scheduled.

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"I think in this case, Sergio got the best news that he could have," Farrell said, noting that Lewis Yokum, the doctor who performed the procedure, did not detect any major tears to the labrum in the shoulder that required suturing.

Farrell said Santos will begin a rehabilitation program in 10 days and will begin throwing in four months.

Although he won't return this year Farrell said all indications point to Santos being ready to go come the start of spring training in February.

As for Brandon Morrow, the starter who has been out since June with a strained left oblique muscle, he pitched live batting practice for the first time since the injury in Dunedin on Wednesday.

Farrell said he came through the workout pain free and the next step will be a rehab start with Dunedin on Sunday when he'll throw two innings.

"And just talking with him live this afternoon, he's going to need repetition to get his command back and get his release point re-established," Farrell said. "Physically, a good day for him."

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While Morrow's return is anticipated for nearly next month, the same can't be said for pitcher Drew Hutchison, who also was sidelined in June with a right elbow strain.

Hutchison is progressing, but won't pick up a baseball for the first time until Friday.

With a report from Robert MacLeod

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