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Estrada on track to return for Monday start

Right-hander will provide relief for over-worked staff, 'pen
MLB.com @gregorMLB

CHICAGO -- Marco Estrada appears set come off the 10-day disabled list and rejoin the Blue Jays' rotation in time to start Monday night against the A's.

Estrada has been out since July 3 because of a strained left glute muscle. He recently made a rehab appearance for Triple-A Buffalo, but his outing was cut short in the fourth inning when a blister developed on his right middle finger.

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CHICAGO -- Marco Estrada appears set come off the 10-day disabled list and rejoin the Blue Jays' rotation in time to start Monday night against the A's.

Estrada has been out since July 3 because of a strained left glute muscle. He recently made a rehab appearance for Triple-A Buffalo, but his outing was cut short in the fourth inning when a blister developed on his right middle finger.

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The blister won't keep Estrada out of action against the A's, and apparently neither will the glute issue, which hasn't entirely gone away. Estrada threw a side session on Friday and has been cleared to make his return in Oakland.

"It's all attached," Estrada jokingly said Friday afternoon. "I'm feeling good. I'm feeling better with the whole hip thing. I threw a bullpen today, I'm a little sore with the [rehab] outing, but it's good enough for me to pitch now. Obviously, I had a blister thing pop up, we covered it up and I was able to throw. I'll be fine."

The Blue Jays' rotation really could use another arm following Thursday's trade of J.A. Happ to the Yankees. Toronto currently only has four starters, including Estrada, and the club will be going with a "bullpen day" on Saturday for the second time in less than two weeks.

Estrada is looking forward to getting back on the mound, but it's possible his time in Toronto is starting to run out. Estrada was expected to be moved before Tuesday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, and while the injury has possibly pushed the trade back into August, the Blue Jays are still expected to shop the right-hander.

"I know it could be a possibility, but I also know that I'm coming off an injury, so it might take a little longer or might not even happen," Estrada said. "Either way, I'm not focused on any of that. I want to compete and give these guys a chance to win. That's really it, I'm focused on this team."

Injury updates
• Reliever Danny Barnes was moved up to Triple-A Buffalo on Friday to continue his rehab. Barnes has been out since June 21 with tendinitis in his left knee. He is expected to return to the Blue Jays bullpen in the near future.

• Right-hander Aaron Sanchez is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday at the Blue Jays' Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla. This will mark Sanchez's first bullpen since he was placed on the DL on June 21 with a contusion on his right middle finger. It's not immediately clear when Sanchez will be ready for a rehab assignment.

• Center fielder Kevin Pillar began a "hitting progression" on Friday in his latest step forward after he sprained his sternoclavicular (SC) joint while making a diving catch at Fenway Park on July 14. Pillar also continues to go through his throwing and running drills without any issues.

Worth mentioning
The Blue Jays officially added right-hander Oliver Drake to their 25-man roster on Friday afternoon. Drake, who has already made appearances for three different teams this season, was claimed off waivers from the Angels on Thursday. Drake has a 7.62 ERA in 13 innings this season.

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, Marco Estrada