BALTIMORE -- J.P. Arencibia is one step closer to making his return from a fractured right hand.
Arencibia traveled to Florida on Saturday to begin his rehab at the club's Minor League complex in Dunedin. He still faces a long road to recovery, but the Blue Jays remain optimistic Arencibia will be back before the end of the year.
"Our timeline is still middle of September sometime as a return to us," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He's in a strengthening phase.
"But still, any time we're talking about guys that have missed a month, it's going to take a little while to get back here. Thankfully, he's making normal progress with the healing and putting a bat in his hand."
The injury affected Arencibia's throwing hand, but it will be hitting that should prove to be the biggest obstacle to overcome. Arencibia will begin with dry swings and hitting off a tee before facing live pitching.
It's a similar rehab to the one Jose Bautista went through for an injured left wrist and the club will take a cautious approach to make sure he doesn't suffer any setbacks.
"One would think, and from just a layman's view, once that bone is healed, then it's just a matter of building some strength and tolerance to the area that is affected," Farrell said.
Arencibia is hitting .242 with 16 home runs and 50 RBIs in 81 games this season.