Rasmus on pace to return Thursday

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Colby Rasmus is expected to return to the Blue Jays' lineup Thursday afternoon against the Orioles.

Rasmus has been out with a sore right shoulder since Feb. 27 but now appears to be on the verge of getting back into the lineup.

The 26-year-old went through a full day of workouts Wednesday at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Fla., while his teammates made the trip to Lakeland for an afternoon affair against the Tigers.

"Hopefully he'll get a full workout today and everything goes well, then he'll go tomorrow," manager John Gibbons said from Lakeland. "But he should be fine."

Rasmus did in fact get the workouts in as he went through batting practice and light fielding drills. The injury was never considered serious, but his return will still be an encouraging sign for a player who has appeared in just three games this spring.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.