Reyes set for rehab, could return Monday

Facing pitching the final step for shortstop before rejoining Blue Jays

Reyes set for rehab, could return Monday

TORONTO -- Jose Reyes is nearing his return to the Blue Jays' lineup and could rejoin the team for Monday's game against the White Sox.

Reyes has been out since April 27 with a cracked left rib. He made the trip to Toledo, Ohio, on Wednesday and is scheduled to make his first appearance in a rehab game for Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday.

The "tentative plan" would see Reyes play three games at shortstop and then receive a day off on Sunday before joining Toronto for the start of its next series.

"Hopefully, I think the plan maybe is for him to be back here ready to play on Monday," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Reyes has been taking ground balls for the past couple of weeks, and his transition back to the field is expected to be a smooth one. The final test before he can be activated from the 15-day disabled list is his ability to hit from the left side.

The 31-year-old hasn't faced pitching in more than three weeks. The brief rehab assignment will ease Reyes into the batter's box and ensure there are no lingering effects from the cracked rib he suffered in Baltimore on the first road trip of the season.

"He's coming off that particular injury, if you throw him into a game here right away, it still bothers him, because adrenaline starts flowing in a game, then you'd have to DL him and start 15 days all over," Gibbons said.

"Down there, if he doesn't feel quite right, comes out, if he just needs a couple of more days, you're still in good shape that way. But, yeah, he needs to see some live pitching."

Reyes is hitting .250 with three extra-base hits, seven RBIs and three stolen bases in 16 games this season.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.