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Blue Jays expect Morrow to avoid surgery

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PHILADELPHIA -- The Blue Jays do not expect Brandon Morrow to require surgery, and he could return near the All-Star break.

Morrow tore a tendon sheath in his right index finger on Friday night in Pittsburgh. He was placed on the 60-day disabled list and is wearing a large splint on his hand.

If surgery had been required, Morrow's season would have come to an end, but general manager Alex Anthopoulos said he did not think that would be necessary, and he was still planning on having his hard-throwing starter return this year.

"From what I was told that wasn't going to be needed," Anthopoulos said. "If something changes down the road, but from what I was told at the time, surgery was not required. ... I think when [the doctors] talked to us, they figured and guys told us, around the All-Star break is when we can expect him back."

Even when Morrow was healthy earlier this season, he was struggling to settle into any type of groove on the mound. He posted a 5.93 ERA and managed to pitch more than five innings in just one of his six starts. There were problems with his fastball command, and a lot of deep counts affected his ability to pitch deep into games.

Morrow was initially considered a wild card on this year's staff, with a belief he could establish himself as the frontline starter. That has yet to happen -- with the exception of a solid run in 2012 -- but Anthopoulos indicated a belief that when Morrow eventually returns, he will provide a major boost to the staff.

"We expect him to come back; we expect him to recover," Anthopoulos said. "He wasn't necessarily rolling, but I thought he looked great against the Indians that game [on April 20]. But Brandon has the stuff to get on a streak at any time, and even in that last game, I followed it obviously, it didn't seem like his slider was there and command, but I think Brandon at any point can get hot, and when he comes back he'll be a big add for us."

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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