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Recovering Reyes nearing rehab assignment

Shortstop has been sidelined with cracked rib since April 27

HOUSTON -- Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes will start a rehab assignment next week as the final step in his recovery from a cracked rib, general manager Alex Anthopoulos announced on Friday.

Reyes, who just started taking limited batting practice on Wednesday, took a full BP session prior to Friday's game against the Astros at Minute Maid Park.

"He's getting closer. At some point next week, we'll probably send him out on assignment, maybe Monday," Anthopoulos said.

The injury has sidelined Reyes since April 27, when Toronto put him on the 15-day disabled list.

Reyes hasn't experienced any pain while fielding or swinging from the right-hand side of the plate. His left-handed swing has still been tentative in the limited batting practice work this week. Since he hasn't seen much right-handed pitching, at least two or three games will likely be necessary before the team would consider bringing him back.

Reyes was hitting just .250 prior to the DL stint.

• Reyes isn't the only Blue Jays player making his way back from injury with Minor League action. Anthopoulos said Friday that Maicer Izturis will begin a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Dunedin on Monday. Izturis has been on the 60-day DL since Spring Training due to groin and left knee injuries.

Video: [email protected]: Bautista crushes a home run to left field

Jose Bautista is expected to remain in the lineup even as a shoulder injury keeps him from throwing and limits him to a designated hitter role.

"Our medical staff said [the shoulder] is getting better, so it's improving slowly. He's just so important to have in the lineup …" Anthopoulos said. "He's a really valuable piece. As long as he can still perform, which he is offensively, and he can still heal at the same time, we're going to run him out there."

• Anthopoulos said catcher Dioner Navarro has no timetable yet for a return from a nagging left hamstring strain. Navarro has been on the DL since April 23.

Chris Abshire is a contributor to
Read More: Toronto Blue Jays, Jose Reyes