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Reyes hopeful to speed up recovery process

Blue Jays shortstop expected to miss three months with left ankle injury

Special to

KANSAS CITY -- Jose Reyes was on crutches Saturday as he positioned himself against a wall in the Blue Jays' clubhouse and talked about the severe left ankle sprain that is expected to sideline him for about three months.

The Blue Jays are expecting Reyes, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list, back around the All-Star break and will mix and match until their starting shortstop and leadoff hitter is ready. Reyes sustained the injury on Friday night against the Royals, when he attempted a late slide and injured his ankle to the extent that he was carted off the field.

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"I heard something pop in my ankle," Reyes said. "I knew from the beginning that something was not right. I was in pain right away. It's disappointing, because I don't know how that happened so fast. But it is what it is. I have to deal with this one more time. The same thing happened to be back in 2003 in New York."

In '03 with the Mets, Reyes attempted to break up a double play when he went feetfirst into second and hurt his left ankle. This time, Reyes said he looked back toward the plate as he approached second and then suddenly realized how close he was to the base. He chose to go feetfirst into second, because he instinctively felt he was to close to go headfirst.

"I [almost] never go feetfirst," Reyes said. "Things happen so quickly in a baseball game. You don't think about it, you just do it."

Reyes, who hit .395 in 38 at-bats for the Blue Jays prior to the injury, made it clear he'll do whatever he can to speed up the return timetable. He isn't convinced that it will take three months.

"That's what the doctors say, but I'm going to do the best I can to be in the field sooner," Reyes said. "I'll do my rehab and I'll be prepared. We have high expectations for this ballclub and I want to be part of it."

Reyes is grateful for all the support he has received in the wake of the injury through calls and various social media outlets.

"It has meant a lot," Reyes said. "I have a lot of fans and they support me. When I'm on the field, I try to give everything I have for my ballclub. The fans appreciate that and I appreciate their support."

Watching the Blue Jays play from the dugout won't be easy for Reyes as he goes through his rehab.

"I love baseball so much and I love to be with my teammates on the field," Reyes said. "Now, I'm not going to be there for a little while. It's kind of disappointing for me. But injuries are part of the game and I have to deal with it."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to

Toronto Blue Jays, Jose Reyes