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Morrow likely to pitch in relief upon return

Gibbons hoping to have veteran right-hander active by September

Morrow likely to pitch in relief upon return

BOSTON -- When Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow eventually returns this season, he'll likely be pitching out of the bullpen.

Manager John Gibbons gave some credence to the theory that has been talked about for the past several weeks. The line of thinking was that Morrow wouldn't have enough time to properly prepare as a starter.

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That would still appear to be the case as Morrow departed for Florida on Sunday to continue his rehab at the club's Minor League complex. In some ways, it's like starting Spring Training all over again.

"If I was to say right now, today, when he comes back he'll probably be a reliever," Gibbons said. "But by then, you never know what we're looking at anyways. We may need a starter, we don't know as a team where we're going to be at that point."

Morrow recently took a step forward by throwing off a mound, but according to Gibbons, the righty has yet to start "cutting it loose." There's no immediate timetable for Morrow to begin throwing without limitations and even once that happens, it will be a slow progression to get into game shape.

With just over two months remaining in the season, Morrow is up against the clock to make an impact. If everything goes well, the Blue Jays hope to have him back in September and he likely could become another piece for the bullpen alongside prospect Aaron Sanchez and hard-throwing righty Dustin McGowan.

Morrow made six starts earlier this season before tearing a tendon sheath in his right index finger. It marks the second consecutive year Morrow's had a marginal impact on the Blue Jays because of an injury.

"That's going to take awhile," Gibbons said of Morrow. "You hope for maybe September, that would be my guess."

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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