Snider stymied with nagging rib injury

Snider stymied with nagging rib injury

Snider stymied with nagging rib injury
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays' Spring Training is well under way, but outfielder Travis Snider has yet to participate in baseball-related activities because of an injury to his upper rib-cage area.

Snider suffered the injury last week while playing golf in Innisbrook, Fla. He is experiencing soreness on the left side of his body in the intercostal muscles, which are located between the ribs.

"I tweaked something about four or five days ago and we've just been taking a very cautious approach with the idea in mind that the ultimate goal is to be ready for Opening Day," Snider said.

"I'm trying to be as involved as I can without being physically involved. It's unfortunate but I think ... right now time is on my side and hopefully this thing is short term and we can get it under control and comfortable, back out there doing what I need to do to prepare myself for the season."

The injury was revealed by manager John Farrell during an afternoon scrum with a group of reporters. The Blue Jays' skipper was asked about the general health of his ballclub and he then proceeded to describe Snider's rehab. That came as a surprise to those in attendance because it had not previously been disclosed during Spring Training.

"Snider shows steady improvement, there's some resistance testing that he's going through and [he] is responding well to that," Farrell said. "We haven't turned him loose yet as far as beginning a hitting progression, but the fact that he's making progress is certainly encouraging."

Snider has yet to swing a bat and is not taking part in any throwing programs at camp. His role is limited to being an observer around the batting cage and outfield while the rest of his teammates actively participate.

When the injury occurred early last week Snider said he wasn't sure how serious it was.

"It didn't explode on me or anything it just progressively got worse in 24 hours and we decided to take a cautious approach to it," Snider said.

"It's not significantly [better], I'm not feeling like I'm going to be swinging [Monday]. But again, it's one of those things where keep doing what I've been doing, keep a positive mind about it and keep it going with the mindset of being ready for April 1st."

Having to deal with injuries is nothing new for Snider, who has been through his fair share during the early part of his Major League career. Last season, he spent more than two months on the disabled list with a right wrist injury.

He also has been forced to overcome hamstring issues and an oblique injury but this is the first time he has experienced soreness in his upper rib-cage area. While there's never a good time to deal with an injury he is at least thankful it happened now instead of later in the year.

"That's one of those things where we hope it doesn't happen in August," Snider said. "I'm glad it happened in February so I that don't have to have that mindset of being away from the team and trying to rush things back as a competitor.

"I've gone through that now twice and understand. The timing is unfortunate, for Spring Training there's a lot of work I wish I could be out there doing, but the most important thing is getting healthy."

The 23-year-old Snider is expected to be the Blue Jays' Opening Day left fielder. Last season, the native of Seattle hit .255 with 14 home runs and 32 RBIs in just 298 at-bats.

It is still unknown when he will be able to resume baseball activities, but Farrell indicated that it's not something that should be considered overly serious.

"Rather than turning him loose, the volume of [batting practice], the volume of swings and repetitions, we're just making sure that tightness settles down some," Farrell said. "We don't expect him to be way behind or certainly not delayed, but just want to be sure that once he gets started -- like any player in camp -- that he's off and going without any restrictions."

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