No timetable for Donaldson's return

No timetable for Donaldson's return

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays still don't have an official timetable for Josh Donaldson's return to the field, but they know it won't be imminent.

There was a report from MLB Network's Ken Rosenthal on Tuesday morning that suggested Donaldson will be out for at least two to four weeks because of a strained right calf muscle. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons stopped short of confirming the news, but it's clear that Donaldson is going to need a lot more time than 10 days.

Donaldson is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, but he's not planning to travel with the team for its upcoming road trip through Los Angeles and St. Louis. He will remain in Toronto to continue his rehab, and a return closer to the start of May appears to be more realistic.

"Couldn't tell you, but he's moving around pretty good," Gibbons said when asked for a time frame on Donaldson's injury. "But I've got no idea."

Donaldson initially hurt his right calf during the first week of Spring Training. He returned late in camp and began the season on time, but the pain resurfaced during a game against the Rays on April 9. Donaldson sat out the home opener in Toronto, but he returned as a designated hitter before his calf started acting up again and it became clear he needed some additional time away.

"He's got some big muscular calves, and it might be one of those things," said Gibbons. "He hurt it before. Maybe you're a little more prone to it."

Howell getting closer

Lefty reliever J.P. Howell is expected to begin a rehab assignment either Tuesday or Wednesday for Class A Dunedin. He likely will make at least a couple of appearances in the Minor Leagues before rejoining the 25-man roster.

Howell has been on the disabled list since April 9 because of soreness in his left shoulder. Howell is Toronto's primary left-handed reliever, but he was limited to a pair of games before getting hurt.

"He's throwing in Dunedin, [Fla.]," Gibbons said. "They'll look at that and then in a couple of days he'll throw a couple of innings and then he should be good to go."

Kelly and Barnes get the call

The Blue Jays recalled right-hander Danny Barnes and infielder Ty Kelly prior to Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox. Kelly was added when lefty J.A. Happ hit the 10-day DL while Barnes took the spot of lefty Matt Dermody, who was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.

Barnes and Kelly are expected to be in Toronto for only a few days. The Blue Jays need to add a couple of starters to their roster prior to Friday's series opener against the Angels, and with an extra man in the bullpen and on the bench, Barnes and Kelly likely will be the odd men out.

"It gives us a lot of versatility," Gibbons said of Kelly. "He'll get some action, but how much I couldn't tell you."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. 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.