Travis hopeful of returning early next week

Rehabbing second baseman cleared for fielding practice

Travis hopeful of returning early next week

TORONTO -- Injured second baseman Devon Travis fielded ground balls on Wednesday morning and remains optimistic that he'll be back in the Blue Jays' lineup at some point early next week.

Travis has been out since May 16 with inflammation in his left shoulder. He's eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday, but likely will require at least a couple of more days before returning.

The 24-year-old received a cortisone shot late last week and started to see some progress with the injury on Tuesday, which led to him being cleared for fielding practice.

"The first few days were pretty sore," Travis said. "I guess after the shot I was like, 'Man, this shot made it worse.' The doctor said that's normal, though. They get that shot pretty deep down in there. The first couple of days are sore, and yesterday was really like the first day where I started feeling good again."

The biggest test for Travis will come when he starts swinging the bat. He has yet to hit since sustaining the injury and he'll need go through batting practice for at least a couple of days before going on a brief rehab assignment.

The rehab schedule likely means Travis will be ruled out for Monday's series opener in Washington. A more realistic time frame might see Travis back in the lineup when Toronto returns home on June 6 against the Astros.

"I feel much better," Travis said. "Every day since I got the shot has been much better. That's what we're shooting for. Literally, every day there has been a noticeable difference."

Travis became one of the surprise stories for the Blue Jays during the first month of the season. He earned American League Rookie of the Month honors for April, and overall, Travis is hitting .271 with seven homers and 26 RBIs in 36 games.

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.