Blue Jays confident Bautista will return soon

Blue Jays confident Bautista will return soon

Blue Jays confident Bautista will return soon
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista remains day to day with a twisted right ankle, and the Blue Jays are confident the injury won't become a long-term problem.

Bautista rolled his ankle while sliding into third base on Thursday night against the Yankees. He went to the ground in obvious pain for several minutes before eventually limping off the field.

The injury appeared as though it could be severe, but less than 24 hours after the incident, things took a more positive turn.

"Today is no worse than last night at the time of turning the ankle," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He has been walking in a walking boot. We'll continue to work throughout the course of today and tonight's game, continue working on getting the swelling out of there."

The Blue Jays don't have a set timetable for Bautista's return, but the best-case scenario would be Sunday's series finale against New York. The more realistic option would be using Monday's off-day to Bautista's advantage and resting him until Tuesday, when Toronto opens a three-game set against Seattle.

Bautista was originally expected to undergo an MRI on Friday, but the club opted not to send him for additional tests. He will continue to be monitored but as of Friday afternoon Bautista's condition had stabilized enough to convince the Blue Jays that extra precaution wasn't necessary.

"He hasn't [had an MRI] yet, in large part because we were going to respond to that in how he felt today," Farrell said. "There was no additional swelling, no additional stiffness, and if there was any increases in those two areas, certainly, [the MRI] would take place."

Bautista entered play Friday with the Major League lead in home runs (31), walks (75), on-base percentage (.470) and slugging (.701). He also ranks first in the American League in times on base (178), second in runs (74) and average (.336).

The Dominican native was forced to miss five games earlier this year because of tightness in his neck. Bautista was able to make a quick recovery from that ailment, and Toronto appears confident he will be able to make similar strides this time around.

There were initial concerns Bautista would be forced to miss an extended period of time. It's still early in the evaluation process, but it appears Bautista avoided any serious damage and should return in the next few days.

"As of right now, no," Farrell said when asked if it was a long-term concern. "That's going on his comments and the way he is moving around today, and the fact that there has been no additional symptoms overnight."