TORONTO -- Another day, another injury to a key Blue Jays player as the club officially lost veteran catcher Russell Martin to the 10-day disabled list on Monday afternoon because of nerve inflammation in his left shoulder.
Martin had been dealing with odd sensations in his shoulder and neck area since Spring Training, and they became worse following a collision at home plate on April 29 vs. the Rays. He described it as a sense of weakness that stemmed from neck soreness and an impinged nerve in his left shoulder.
The issue made it feel as though his glove got heavier as each game went along. He had difficulty reaching for some pitches and when the problem did not improve over the last couple of weeks it became clear an extended period of rest was required. Catcher Mike Ohlman was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo to take his spot on the roster.
"It's unlike anything I've ever had in my career," Martin said. "I'm used to dealing with pain and battling through pain. When it's something where it's you have a lack of feeling, or a lack of strength issue, that's something I don't really know much about it. ... To me, physically, I have a hard time doing certain things that I never had trouble doing before."
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons and Martin each spoke optimistically about needing to miss only the minimum 10 days. Rest is supposed to allow the nerve to calm down and, at least initially, there will be no rigorous rehab workouts, but nobody can say with any kind of certainty when Martin will be back on the field.
Ohlman likely will split playing time with catcher Luke Maile and is known more for his bat than his work behind the plate. He had a .982 OPS in 23 games this season for Buffalo.
"He's a big dude, a big strong guy," Gibbons said. "He hit at least two home runs, some bombs down there, and it looks like he can hit. As far as catching the ball, I thought he did a nice job. ... He's a big dude, it's tougher on those guys, mobility-wise. But I thought he looked better than I probably anticipated and here's his break."
Donaldson and Tulo still out
The Blue Jays are expected to be without Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson for at least another week. Toronto initially hoped to have at least one of those players back for the start of this week's homestand, but neither one is particularly close to a return.
Gibbons said the tentative plan was to have Tulowitzki begin a rehab assignment at some point later this week. That could put him on track to return for a home-and-away series vs. the Braves from May 15-18. Donaldson's injured right calf muscle will require more time than that.
"He's coming along, I don't know exactly when [he'll be back]," Gibbons said of Tulowitzki, who is out with a strained right hamstring. "Donaldson is down in Florida, and he's basically doing the same thing. Tulo, I think, is a little bit ahead of him."
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.