For Rasmus, no timeline but a scheduled first step

For Rasmus, no timeline but a scheduled first step

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Colby Rasmus is getting closer in his return to the Blue Jays' lineup, but he remains day to day with a sore neck.

Rasmus has been out of the Blue Jays' lineup since last Friday after he woke up with a stiff neck. Earlier this week he had a cortisone shot to relieve some of the pain, but there does not appear to be anything structurally wrong.

Toronto's center fielder was expected to resume baseball activities on Saturday morning and should get into a game within the next few days.

"We're going off what the doctor said," Rasmus said Friday morning. "He said to wait until tomorrow to see how it feels. Give the shot three days of work and let the spasm get out of there and go from there. See how it feels on Saturday, and if it feels good, then start back with baseball activities."

Rasmus does not seem overly concerned about the time away from baseball, and he still has more than three weeks to prepare for Opening Day. That will give him lots of opportunities for future at-bats, and the neck injury is not expected to linger for much longer.

The 27-year-old is getting ready for his most important season yet in the Major Leagues. A former first-round Draft pick, he is eligible for free agency at the end of the year and could be in line for a very lucrative payday during the offseason.

In order to gain that long-term security, Rasmus will need to build on a breakout 2013 campaign that saw him hit .276 with 22 homers and 66 RBIs in 118 games. He also posted an impressive .840 OPS with 49 extra-base hits.

"I feel fine; last year I felt fine, and I missed some at-bats," Rasmus said. "It's just one of those things, I don't know. Baseball throws curveballs that you've got to be able to make adjustments and keep working with it and grind through it, find a solution to keep going."

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.