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Lawrie's MRI results to be further examined

Lawrie's MRI results to be further examined

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays still aren't sure exactly what's wrong with Brett Lawrie, but the initial diagnosis doesn't sound particularly good.

Lawrie experienced some discomfort in his lower back during Tuesday night's game against Baltimore. He was sent for an MRI the following afternoon, and those results have since been forwarded to doctors in Florida.

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Toronto didn't say what the initial MRI revealed, but a team spokesman announced that the results would be compared with a previous test Lawrie had in 2012 for a strained oblique.

Doctors in Florida have the results from that 2012 MRI and will use it as a baseline when taking a look at the latest examination. Those same doctors also will send the old results to Toronto so they can be compared by a second team.

Lawrie's injury was originally announced as lower-back tightness, but considering the steps the team is now taking, it would appear as though something is wrong with his oblique. Closer Casey Janssen had a similar issue earlier this spring, and while his injury was first listed as a back issue, it was later changed to oblique.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was pressed for answers about the severity of Lawrie's injury following Toronto's 5-1 victory over Baltimore on Wednesday, but he declined to provide much clarity.

"We'll have a little better idea tomorrow," Gibbons said. "We want the doctors in Florida to read his MRI."

Lawrie missed 30 games in 2012 with a strained oblique. That type of injury usually takes at least two weeks to heal but often can linger for a lot longer than that. Janssen strained his oblique at the end of Spring Training and didn't make his season debut until May 12.

In other words, the Blue Jays are potentially dealing with yet another long-term injury. Toronto is already without the services of Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion, while Lawrie's return from a fractured right index finger lasted all of three innings before he departed Tuesday night's game.

If Lawrie has to miss an extended period of time, Danny Valencia and Munenori Kawasaki likely will see the bulk of the playing time at third base. Lawrie is hitting .247 with 12 homers and 38 RBIs in 70 games this season.

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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