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Encarnacion's return delayed by swollen finger

Encarnacion's return delayed by swollen finger

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- First baseman Edwin Encarnacion had his return from the World Baseball Classic delayed when a swollen finger kept him out of the lineup on Friday against the Boston Red Sox.

Encarnacion jammed the finger in his final at-bat for the Dominican Republic, which defeated Puerto Rico on Tuesday in San Francisco to win the World Baseball Classic title.

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"I guess his last at-bat the other night, he hit a ball off the end of his bat and it kind of jarred his index finger," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said on Friday. "It swelled up a little bit and it was kind of irritated. They X-rayed it [Thursday] and everything is fine, but he won't be playing for a couple of days. No concern. Plus he's had plenty of work lately."

Shortstop Jose Reyes, who also played for the Dominicans, was back in the Blue Jays' lineup for Friday's game, going 0-for-1 with a pair of walks. Outfielders Moises Sierra and Ricardo Nanita also played for the Dominican and were back at the Minor League camp.

Gibbons admitted there will be an adjustment for players returning from the intensity of the Classic to Spring Training games.

"It won't be easy, I'm sure it'll be a little bit of a letdown," Gibbons said. "They're probably glad to be back with their team. One thing, a guy like Reyes, he's enthusiastic in everything he does. He'll be out there today and he'll probably just get a couple of at-bats the next couple of days. Next week they'll all be in there every day."

Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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