Santos continues work on shoulder in rehab

Santos continues work on shoulder in rehab

ST. PETERSBURG -- Sergio Santos made his return to the Blue Jays clubhouse on Monday afternoon, but not in the capacity he would have originally preferred.

Santos, who is going through rehabilitation on his right shoulder in nearby Dunedin, Fla., visited his teammates at Tropicana Field prior to the series opener against Tampa Bay.

The 28-year-old has been out since April 21 with inflammation, but remains optimistic that he is finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel in his rehab.

"At first it was a little frustrating because you'd have a couple of good days and you'd be thinking 'Alright, I'm getting back' and then you'll have a couple of bad days," Santos said. "It gets you frustrated for a little bit just because I want to be out here with these guys.

"But the last week I felt a lot better, so I'm really looking forward to building up this week and hopefully having some bullpen stuff maybe sometime next week."

Santos has been stretched out to throwing from 120 feet and hopes to expand that to long toss -- approximately 250 feet -- by the end of the week. Pitching off a mound would come next followed by a rehab assignment in the Minor Leagues.

That should keep Santos out for at least the next three weeks, but the club is hesitant to put any official time frame on the rehab. Before that happens, the Blue Jays want to make sure he is 100 percent healthy, which does not currently appear to be the case.

Santos was quick to dismiss the notion that he was still experiencing pain in the shoulder, but he's also not back to full strength.

"I guess it would just be more uncomfortable than pain because it doesn't hurt, but you know when you're feeling 100 percent and you know when you're not," said Santos, who has two saves in four opportunities this season. "It's not quite at 100 percent, but it's getting there."