Lawrie remains in Florida, but injury deemed short-term

Lawrie remains in Florida, but injury deemed short-term

TORONTO -- There is still no definitive timetable on when third baseman Brett Lawrie will be able to make his return to the lineup.

Toronto's third baseman remained in Florida to go through rehab for a strained left oblique muscle. Lawrie resumed throwing on Monday morning, and the hope is that he'll be able to appear in a Minor League game by the weekend.

"He didn't reinjure it at all, but we thought we were rushing him too much," manager John Gibbons said. "Today he'll go out and play some catch, and then little by little, he'll get back into swinging the bat in the cage and hopefully get him into a game by the weekend.

"I think we were a little bit overly optimistic after it first happened, but once he gets here, we don't want that to be a problem at all the rest of the year, so we're going to be smart with it. But I would say within the next couple of weeks."

The original hope for Lawrie was that he would be ready for Opening Day, but that changed over the final week and a half of camp. Lawrie's injury didn't improve quite as expected, but the club still considers it a relatively short-term issue.

Toronto officially placed Lawrie on the 15-day disabled Monday morning. The move is retroactive to March 22, which means he could be activated on Saturday. But in all likelihood, he will need at least a couple of more days after that to get ready for the season.

The Blue Jays are expected to use a platoon at third base during his absence. Infielder Maicer Izturis will get the start versus righties while Mark DeRosa will make an occasional start against left-handers.

Once Lawrie does return, Toronto will go back to a seven-man bullpen. That likely will leave either Brett Cecil or Jeremy Jeffress on the outside looking in. Both relievers are out of options on their contracts and must clear waivers before being assigned to the Minor Leagues.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.