Lawrie aiming for return by Opening Day

Lawrie aiming for return by Opening Day

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Blue Jays don't yet know if Brett Lawrie (strained rib cage) will head into Minor League game action in order to back date any potential trip to the disabled list. Playing in a Major League game would push that date forward, which gives the Blue Jays less flexibility.

"That could happen, because if we play him down there, he could come back sooner," manager John Gibbons said Sunday. "We play him in one of these games, we end up having to shut him down after that. He's not ready to get in a game yet. We don't think he's too far off. We'll have a little bit better idea tomorrow."

Lawrie and Edwin Encarnacion (jammed right index finger) both stayed back on Sunday, with the Blue Jays south in Fort Myers for an afternoon game against the Twins. The Blue Jays left too early from Dunedin for Gibbons to know how Encarnacion and Lawrie were faring Sunday morning.

"We'll have a little bit better idea tomorrow," Gibbons said.

Lawrie should still be ready to go by the time the season starts.

"It's not Opening Day in doubt here, yet," Gibbons said.

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.