Lawrie could return as soon as Saturday

Lawrie could return as soon as Saturday

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Blue Jays manager John Farrell anticipates seeing Brett Lawrie in the lineup on Sunday, although Farrell hinted at the possibility of Toronto's third baseman suiting up in Saturday's contest against the Braves.

"We're fully expecting that he'd feel well enough to play tomorrow, and yet even if he does come in and feel like he's ready to play, we might say, 'You know what, that's great, we'll give it one more day just to be safe and go ahead and play you on Sunday,'" Farrell said Friday.

Lawrie increased his baseball activities on Thursday and Friday, and he "ran the bases pretty much at full speed today," according to Farrell.

"He continues to improve and should be 100 percent [on Saturday]," Farrell said.

Lawrie hasn't played since March 16, when he injured his left groin while attempting to score from second base.

The young slugger entered Friday's game leading the Blue Jays in doubles (six), stolen bases (five) and average (.609), while also posting a .957 slugging percentage despite playing in only nine games.

Last year, Lawrie hit .293 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs while posting a .953 OPS in just 150 at-bats.