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Donaldson endures setback with calf injury

MLB.com @alysonfooter

HOUSTON -- The Blue Jays received discouraging news on Tuesday about third baseman Josh Donaldson, whom they were hoping would be ready to rejoin the team at some point during the upcoming homestand that begins Friday.

Instead, they'll have to continue on for a while longer without him. Donaldson, while preparing to play a rehab game in Dunedin, Fla., sustained an injury to his left calf while taking ground balls. An MRI revealed acute strain of his calf muscle, and he'll be reevaluated in three weeks.

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HOUSTON -- The Blue Jays received discouraging news on Tuesday about third baseman Josh Donaldson, whom they were hoping would be ready to rejoin the team at some point during the upcoming homestand that begins Friday.

Instead, they'll have to continue on for a while longer without him. Donaldson, while preparing to play a rehab game in Dunedin, Fla., sustained an injury to his left calf while taking ground balls. An MRI revealed acute strain of his calf muscle, and he'll be reevaluated in three weeks.

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"The previous week, we thought there was a chance [he was ready to come off the DL]," manager John Gibbons said. "He was moving along, and then something happens. What are you going to do? It's been a frustrating year for him. He's hanging in there OK, considering, but he's frustrated."

Donaldson's left calf issues landed him on the DL on June 1, retroactive to May 29. At the time of the injury, he had appeared in 36 games, hitting .234 (32-for-137) with five home runs and 16 RBIs.

A free agent after the season, Donaldson was expected to garner considerable attention as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approached, if the Blue Jays decided to be sellers. His current setback pushes a possible return to no earlier than just after the All-Star break, which may affect interest from other teams.

In other injury news, left-hander Jaime Garcia, who hasn't thrown since being placed on the DL with a tender left shoulder last Saturday, will see a specialist on Thursday. He'll then report to Dunedin to continue his rehab progression until he is ready to rejoin the team.

Blue Jays clear spot for Borucki
To make room for left-hander Ryan Borucki on the roster, third baseman Gio Urshela was designated for assignment. Urshela, who was acquired via trade from the Indians on May 9 after being DFA'd by Cleveland, was hitting .233/.283/.326 this year in 43 at-bats.

When a player's contract is designated for assignment -- often abbreviated "DFA" -- that player is immediately removed from his club's 40-man roster, and 25-man roster if he was on that as well. Within seven days of the transaction (it was previously 10 days), the player must either be traded, released or placed on irrevocable outright waivers.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.

Toronto Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson