DUNEDIN, FLA.—Josh Donaldson was back in batting practice on Tuesday, but the third baseman is not ready to set a specific date for his return from a calf strain just yet.
Donaldson suffered the injury to his right leg while sprinting at the main stadium complex here 11 days ago.
Though the club initially projected Donaldson would be ready by opening day — at the time 45 days away — that number was later changed to a two to three weeks out of the lineup.
Donaldson has been walking on his own for more than a week.
Monday was the first day the infielder — who has been back throwing for a few day now — went full speed in the Blue Jays’ indoor batting cage. His body responded well, he said, hence the move to batting practice.
“Felt good. It’s been a little while since I’ve taken batting practice but it felt good to be back out there,” he said.
No stranger to calf injuries, Donaldson was initially unsure how his body was going to respond to this strain but he said his treatment is working and he is very happy with the progress he had made in little more than a week.
But don’t go marking your calendar just yet; Donaldson isn’t targeting a particular date for his comeback.
“It’s just one of those things where I’ve just got to keep listening to my body and what it’s telling me. Every day has been a step in the right direction; as long as it keeps going that way then hopefully sooner than later,” Donaldson said.
The next step in his recovery is to run. When that will occur, though, is another question mark.
“We’ll see whenever that’s going to happen I’m not sure, but we’ll see,” he said.
The 2015 AL MVP told reporters around the time of his injury that he wasn’t going to push himself too much, thanks to a little extra spring training time offered by the World Baseball Classic.
“I’m kind of thankful right now that it’s a little bit longer, because it’s going to give me some time to heal up and get back on the field and play some games and get ready and primed for the season,” he said then.
It was a frustrating setback for Donaldson nonetheless. The third baseman said he felt as good reporting to camp as he ever had.
“I spent all my time here this off-season really training hard and preparing to play 162 regular-season games and hopefully some post-season games on top of that. There’s frustration, but that’s part of it and you’ve got to learn, re-asses and go from there.”
With files from Richard Griffin
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