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Liriano progressing in concussion protocol

MLB.com

TORONTO -- Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins had positive news Monday regarding left-hander Francisco Liriano, who has been battling a concussion since taking a line drive hit by Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez off the back of his head/neck in Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Friday afternoon.

Liriano was not on hand to celebrate Toronto's clinching victory over Texas on Sunday night, as the 32-year-old went home after not "feeling particularly great." According to Atkins, the Dominican-born southpaw felt much better on Monday. The Blue Jays will open the AL Championship Series on Friday (8 p.m. ET on TBS and, in Canada, Sportsnet and RDS) vs. the Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

TORONTO -- Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins had positive news Monday regarding left-hander Francisco Liriano, who has been battling a concussion since taking a line drive hit by Rangers outfielder Carlos Gomez off the back of his head/neck in Game 2 of the American League Division Series on Friday afternoon.

Liriano was not on hand to celebrate Toronto's clinching victory over Texas on Sunday night, as the 32-year-old went home after not "feeling particularly great." According to Atkins, the Dominican-born southpaw felt much better on Monday. The Blue Jays will open the AL Championship Series on Friday (8 p.m. ET on TBS and, in Canada, Sportsnet and RDS) vs. the Indians at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

:: ALCS: Blue Jays vs. Red Sox/Indians coverage ::

"He had an awesome day today," Atkins said. "He was able to come in and do some physical activity with no symptoms, which is a very positive sign. We want to make sure, first and foremost, that we are thinking about the human being before the player, which was the rationale behind replacing him in the ALDS. But he had an incredible day today."

Liriano was replaced on the ALDS roster after Game 2 by right-hander Danny Barnes. Liriano is eligible to return after a minimum of seven days, provided he has passed MLB's concussion protocol. Toronto has yet to announce its roster for the ALCS.

Liriano played a critical role in the Blue Jays' rotation after arriving in a midseason trade with the Pirates, serving as both a back-end starter and a reliever. Liriano pitched 1 2/3 relief innings in Toronto's AL Wild Card Game victory over Baltimore, and he was expected to remain a late-inning contributor for manager John Gibbons in the postseason.

Brett Cecil and Aaron Loup remain as additional left-handed options in the Blue Jays' bullpen.

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.

Toronto Blue Jays