Left elbow inflammation forces Happ to DL

Sanchez undergoes surgery to remove portion of fingernail

Left elbow inflammation forces Happ to DL

TORONTO -- After a week of dread, the Blue Jays finally received some positive injury news on Tuesday afternoon. Turns out J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez won't miss that much time after all.

The MRI results on Happ's sore left elbow came back clean, and instead of a torn ligament, he is dealing with inflammation and could miss just one start. Sanchez's blister on his right middle finger will keep him out a little longer than that, but the Blue Jays expect to have him back within a couple of weeks at most.

Toronto was facing the possibility of being without 40 percent of its starting rotation for an extended period of time. That would have been a devastating blow for a team that entered play on Tuesday with a 2-10 record, and while the injuries are still from ideal, it's no longer a worst-case scenario.

"I think looking long-term, it's actually really good news compared to what it could have been, and maybe what I thought it was leaning toward," said Happ, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list. "It's good news. I don't want to go on the DL, but hopefully there's potential for this to be one time through the rotation, get back right after the 10 days and try to come back with a vengeance if I can."

Happ plans to take a few days off and then throw a side session in anticipation of a return at some point next week. The 33-year-old is eligible to come off the DL on April 27 for the series finale in St. Louis, but the club could opt to hold him back for the following series vs. the Rays.

Sanchez had a portion of the fingernail on his right middle finger removed by Dr. Glenn Goldstein in Kansas City on Monday. The hope is that will solve a lot of the blister issues he has been experiencing not only this season, but for most of his career. Sanchez is expected to resume throwing within a few days, and he might return for that Cardinals series from Aug. 25-27.

"They take a portion of the nail, right around where the blister was and just cut it back," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who also noted that other players who have had the procedure heal quickly. "Optimistically, he's ready for either that St. Louis or Tampa [Bay] series. Hopefully he'd be ready to go then."

Toronto recalled infielder Ty Kelly from Triple-A Buffalo to take Happ's spot on the roster. The Blue Jays are currently carrying an extra player on the bench and in the bullpen for their series against the Red Sox, but that will change this weekend. Two starters will need to be added for Friday and Saturday's games against the Angels, and the top candidates appear to be Casey Lawrence, Mat Latos and T.J. House.

Lawrence is already on the 40-man roster, but Latos and House would require an additional move before they can be called up. Toronto had to remove catcher Juan Graterol from the 40-man roster last week, and that ended up forcing his trade to the Angels for cash considerations Tuesday evening.

"We're going to need a starter on Friday and Saturday in Anaheim," Gibbons said. "It will be a couple of guys from Triple-A, and then I think we'll need one of them in St. Louis, if all goes well with Sanchy and Happ."

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.