Travis takes field for first time since July

Second baseman working way back from shoulder surgery

Travis takes field for first time since July

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Devon Travis finally has something to smile about, as the young Blue Jays second baseman hit the field on Saturday morning for the first time since last July.

Travis was initially shut down last summer because of soreness in his left shoulder, but it wasn't until much later that doctors discovered the cause. The first procedure was to drain a cyst, and then in November he underwent surgery to stabilize a bone in his shoulder.

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The ensuing recovery meant that Travis had to wear a brace for two months before he gradually began to resume physical activities. Travis started throwing earlier this week, and Saturday saw him take the field for the first time to field ground balls.

"He's a pretty good player; it's unfortunate what happened, and it has really been a slow process, but to get out there has to do him wonders," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Now it has to feel like he's on the mend a little bit."

There is still no timetable for Travis' return, but initial speculation suggested that he would be back in late May or early June. That would still appear to be possible as Travis eases back into baseball activities, and once healthy he will essentially have to go through Spring Training on his own.

Up until now, Travis' rehab had been mostly limited to treatment and conditioning with daily workouts alongside new Blue Jays physical trainer Nikki Huffman. There is now some baseball work that can be incorporated into an otherwise monotonous routine, and Travis clearly was reveling in that on Saturday.

"He's feeling good now," Gibbons said. "It was bothering him for a long time because nobody could put a finger on it, nobody knew what the heck it was. They ended up doing something, but what they did takes a while. But it's good for his morale."

Other injury updates:

Jose Bautista returned to the Blue Jays' lineup on Saturday during the 4-3 loss to the Yankees after missing the previous two days because of a stiff neck. He went 0-for-3.

Edwin Encarnacion took on-field batting practice Saturday morning and appears on schedule to make his Spring Training debut in a Minor League game on Monday.

• Left-hander Aaron Loup (strained forearm) is feeling better and has been throwing off flat ground for more than a week, but a timetable to get into a game remains uncertain. He's expected to begin the year on the 15-day DL.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.