ST. PETERSBURG -- Jose Bautista can move forward with the rehab program for his injured left wrist knowing there isn't any additional damage in the area.
Bautista underwent a second MRI on Wednesday which came back with the same diagnosis as the one performed in the middle of July.
The news didn't come as a major surprise to Bautista, but it still provided some much-needed positive news for a club that can ill afford to lose its slugger for the rest of the year.
"They didn't have to do [a second MRI]," Bautista said. "It's just more the doctor trying to be cautious before I get the bat back in my hands. What he was thinking was the same thing that came back. It's just still inflammation, not further damage, so it hasn't got any worse.
"It's getting better, but slowly. I would hope that it would be healing quicker, but it's not. We're going to just give it a couple more days, then start hitting Monday."
Bautista has been out since injuring his left wrist during an at-bat on July 16 in New York. He began hitting off a tee and taking dry swings midway through his rehab but was then shutdown on Aug. 1 when the pain did not subside.
The 31-year-old has now been cleared to resume swinging on Monday. Despite the setback, Bautista doesn't think he will need to start from square one all over again, and he expects to be able to pick up the intensity of his baseball activities relatively quickly.
"It'll be a progression," Bautista said. "But I don't think I have to go all the way back to just dry swings. I think I'll hit the ball right out of the gates and take it from there."