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Gibbons hopeful Lind, Encarnacion return this month

Gibbons hopeful Lind, Encarnacion return this month

NEW YORK -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons still isn't sure when he's going to get Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion back into the lineup, but he hopes it will be before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Both players are currently working out at the club's Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla. They will be joined within the next few days by third baseman Brett Lawrie, but the reunion isn't expected to last very long.

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Gibbons was initially vague about a timeline for Encarnacion and Lind's return, but when asked if it could drag into early August, he became a little more specific.

"Hopefully they're back before that," Gibbons said Friday afternoon. "That's being optimistic, but there's a chance they could be."

That could mean the Blue Jays hope to have Lind (fractured right foot) and Encarnacion (strained right quad) back at some point during their upcoming series in Boston from July 28-30. If not in Boston, then the two likely would join Toronto for a four-game series in Houston starting on July 31.

Lawrie's return won't be quite as soon. He has yet to make the trip to Florida but will begin to ramp up his workouts soon, with an eye toward a return at some point in early August.

Outfielder Nolan Reimold is expected to be the first injured player to make his return. Reimold is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday after suffering a strained left calf muscle. The 30-year-old likely will be back either Sunday in New York or Monday in Boston.

"I would say Reimold is the farthest along," Gibbons said.

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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