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Donaldson hopeful that DL stint will be short

Calf issue hindering third baseman during sprints; lefty Mayza recalled from Triple-A
MLB.com @gregorMLB

DETROIT -- Josh Donaldson arrived at Comerica Park on Friday afternoon hoping it would be the day he returned to the Blue Jays' lineup. Instead, he ended up on the 10-day disabled list for the second time this season.

Donaldson went through some light running drills prior to the series opener against the Tigers to test his injured left calf muscle. The drills apparently did not go as planned, because Donaldson was not able to sprint. As a result, the Blue Jays replaced him on the roster with lefty reliever Tim Mayza.

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DETROIT -- Josh Donaldson arrived at Comerica Park on Friday afternoon hoping it would be the day he returned to the Blue Jays' lineup. Instead, he ended up on the 10-day disabled list for the second time this season.

Donaldson went through some light running drills prior to the series opener against the Tigers to test his injured left calf muscle. The drills apparently did not go as planned, because Donaldson was not able to sprint. As a result, the Blue Jays replaced him on the roster with lefty reliever Tim Mayza.

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The Blue Jays remain hopeful that Donaldson's absence will be a short-term thing. The DL stint was backdated to Tuesday, which means he would be eligible to return on June 8 against the Orioles.

"I'm having improvements with it, it's just not to the point where I'm comfortable sprinting," Donaldson said late Friday night. "That's the last and final stage that we have. It's one of those deals where I don't want to take up a [roster] spot, when I can't run and play defense, to put our team in a bind.

"So, I felt like it was the best option. [Manager John Gibbons] felt like it was the best option. I think it will be six days until I can play, after today, so we'll go from there. We're shooting for that day."

Video: TOR@NYM: Donaldson drives in a run with a single

Donaldson missed approximately three weeks earlier this season because of a right shoulder issue. Prior to last year, injuries were something Donaldson never really had to deal with -- at least not issues that were serious enough to put him on the DL.

From 2013-16, Donaldson appeared in at least 155 games per season. Last year, that number dropped to 113 after he missed approximately six weeks with a strained calf. That injury impacted his right leg, and the current issue he's dealing with in his left leg sounds far less severe, but it's yet another frustrating break for the pending free agent.

Adding to the disappointment would have to be Toronto's recent record as the club has lost 14 of its past 18 games. Donaldson wanted to be part of the turnaround but instead he'll be watching from the sidelines while his teammates try to get things back on track. That also means Donaldson will have to wait even longer to turn around his offensive performance as he was batting just .234/.333/.423 in 36 games this season with five home runs and 16 RBIs.

"It is what it is," said Donaldson, who left Monday night's game against the Red Sox because of the injury. "I try not to be too concerned, or stay too negative on the situation, but it's difficult at times. In the same breath, you have to try to stay positive. It's recovering. It's just not to the point where I feel like I can sprint, so that's why we made the decision."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson