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Donaldson responds after locker is emptied

August 26, 2018

TORONTO -- Injured third baseman Josh Donaldson is attempting to clear the air on why his locker was cleared out at Rogers Centre this weekend and the reason might not be what most people think.Donaldson's locker was conspicuously empty following Saturday's 8-6 victory over the Phillies. The development was noticed

TORONTO -- Injured third baseman Josh Donaldson is attempting to clear the air on why his locker was cleared out at Rogers Centre this weekend and the reason might not be what most people think.
Donaldson's locker was conspicuously empty following Saturday's 8-6 victory over the Phillies. The development was noticed by reporters because while Donaldson has been away from the team since early June, it previously contained his belongings.
Toronto claims the reason behind the empty locker is pretty simple, Donaldson is hoping for a return to the field in the near future and he simply asked club officials to send his belongings to Florida.
"I want to play soon and wanted to make sure I have everything I need to do that," Donaldson said in a statement that was issued through a club official. "So I asked the staff to pack my locker, then I can go through it."

Donaldson's statement was released on the same day reports surfaced that he is nearing the start of a rehab assignment. A report by MLB Network Radio's Steve Phillips suggested it would happen Monday, and a report by USA Today's Bob Nightengale suggested it would be "within 48 hours."
The reality of the situation is that the Blue Jays still likely don't know exactly when Donaldson will begin a rehab assignment. The expectation and hope is that it will be within the next couple of days, but it's still a wait-and-see process until Donaldson says his injured calf is completely good to go.
The exact timing of Donaldson's rehab is crucial because the Blue Jays are still expected to shop him before the end of the month. In order to be eligible for the postseason, players must be acquired prior to Sept. 1. Also, before any deal can be worked out, Donaldson must be placed on waivers for 48 hours.
Complicating things even further is that the waiver process cannot start until Donaldson officially begins a rehab assignment. If that happens Monday or Tuesday, it would give the Blue Jays a little bit of time to work something out before the unofficial deadline at the end of the month. Donaldson has been out since May 28 with a strained left calf muscle.

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