Rasmus feels fully healthy upon return to Blue Jays

Rasmus feels fully healthy upon return to Blue Jays

NEW YORK -- It took a lot longer than originally anticipated, but Colby Rasmus made his long-awaited return to the Blue Jays' lineup on Wednesday night.

The center fielder went 1-for-4 with an RBI in the Blue Jays' 7-3 loss to the Yankees.

When Rasmus strained his right hamstring on May 12, the hope was that he would return within a couple of games. The days quickly turned into weeks, and before it was all said and done, the athletic center fielder missed well over a month.

The good news is that the hamstring woes appear to be a thing of the past. Rasmus appeared in six rehab games with Triple-A Buffalo and didn't feel any lingering effects from what can often be a nagging injury.

"It's always a learning experience," Rasmus said of his tumultuous May and June. "Pushing yourself too quick or too slow. Every injury is different, this is a different injury, and I just had to learn what I did and hopefully next time, I'll be able to correct it faster. But I'm here now and ready to play."

Rasmus admitted for the first time on Wednesday afternoon that he suffered a setback in his attempt to get back on the field in late May. The 27-year-old went through a series of running drills at Rogers Centre and appeared to be nearing a return before he suddenly disappeared.

The Blue Jays later announced Rasmus had been sent to the club's Minor League complex to continue his rehab. Even though Toronto denied it at the time, the assumption was that something happened when Rasmus went through the running drills, and he conceded that fact Wednesday.

"I suffered a setback," Rasmus said. "When I was running the bases, not when I was running the outfield. I felt a little something, and it wasn't as bad as when I hurt it the first time, but I felt a little something and I felt I could try to keep playing for my sake of trying to do what I need to do for myself, but I didn't think it would be right for the team to do that.

"I felt like I needed to go down. We had [Anthony] Gose here running balls down, and he's just as good, or better, than I am at running balls down in center field, so I felt like we would be all right. I needed to get myself right, so I could come back and help us."

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.