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No timetable yet for Lawrie's return to Blue Jays

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TORONTO -- Brett Lawrie has resumed full baseball activities, but there is still no timetable for his return to the big leagues.

Toronto's third baseman is currently on the disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle. Lawrie was originally supposed to be out for approximately three weeks, but more than a month later, the timing of his return is still very much up in the air.

The encouraging news is that Lawrie's workouts have started to get a little more intense, and now that he has resumed hitting, it should only be a matter of time before he gets into a Minor League game.

"He's doing everything right now, he's just not in any games," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's running, he's throwing, he's swinging the bat, fielding ground balls. He's doing everything he would do here, now it's just, when do we get him into games? Hopefully that's not too far off. He'll start turning it up a little bit and then we'll really see where he's at."

Lawrie suffered the injury while playing in an exhibition game for Team Canada prior to the World Baseball Classic. The hope was that he would be ready for Opening Day, but it became clear that was a completely unrealistic expectation.

Gibbons has admitted the Blue Jays were overly optimistic when originally diagnosing Lawrie's injury. The severity hasn't changed, but the pain lingered a lot longer than expected. Lawrie will still need to appear in a series of Minor League games, because in some ways, he needs to start Spring Training again from scratch.

"We had him moving along there right toward the end of spring, and then we backed him off," Gibbons said. "It wasn't because of a setback, something just didn't feel right. We thought the best thing to do was to be cautious, it's early in the year, so that when he does come back, it's behind him and he won't have to worry about it the rest of the year."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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