ST. PETERSBURG -- Blue Jays shortstop Marco Scutaro exited Sunday's game against the Rays in the sixth inning due to an injury to his right heel. It is an issue that dates back to the end of July and could bring an early end to Scutaro's season.
"He's been playing with that for I would say a couple months," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said after Toronto's 3-1 loss to Tampa Bay. "It's something that maybe we may have to shut him down. I'm not sure. We'll see how it goes."
Scutaro is scheduled to undergo an MRI exam on his foot on Monday and the Blue Jays are hoping he simply experienced a breaking up of scar tissue. With two outs in the sixth, Scutaro ran forward to field a ground ball off the bat of Tampa Bay's B.J. Upton. The shortstop misplayed the ball and pulled up, hopping on his left foot as he grimaced in pain.
After a brief meeting with Blue Jays head trainer George Poulis, Scutaro limped off the field and was replaced by infielder John McDonald. Scutaro -- still sporting a significant limp after the game -- said that he felt a pop and then felt pain shoot through his heel, but noted that it could have been a good thing.
"I felt something going through my heel and I heard a pop," said Scutaro, who was not sure how he originally hurt his foot. "They said it might be the best thing that it happened to me."
Scutaro said that surgery to correct this type of plantar fasciitis issue is usually aimed at breaking up scar tissue in the heel. That may have been what happened to Scutaro against the Rays, meaning he could avoid a need for surgery.
Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay said he had the same thing occur two years ago shortly before Spring Training. After a year of dealing with discomfort, Halladay never felt any pain in his foot again after feeling a pop in his heel.
"It never came back. I wish I would've done it earlier," Halladay said. "He's going to be sore for a week or two, but I think in the long run, it could be a good thing."
With only 13 games remaining on the regular-season schedule for Toronto, the Jays may opt to hold Scutaro out of the lineup down the stretch. Scutaro, 33, is in the midst of a career year and is eligible for free agency this coming offseason. In 144 games, the shortstop has hit .282 with 12 home runs, 60 RBIs, 90 walks and a .379 on-base percentage.
Scutaro was not sure if he'd be able to make a quick return to the diamond.
"I don't know," Scutaro said with a shrug. "[Saturday] was the best I felt in the last two and a half months. It was great. Today, look what happened."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.