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Tulo making progress after seeing specialist

Shortstop with crack in shoulder blade hopes to get clearer timetable soon

TORONTO -- Troy Tulowitzki says he's making progress, but there's still no timeline for his return to the Blue Jays' lineup.

"I feel a lot better. I can lift my arm now, and before I couldn't even move it," said the All-Star shortstop, who's dealing with a crack in his left shoulder blade. "Every day I feel like I'm making strides, so I'm heading in the right direction, but at the same time, you don't want to throw a date out there and people expect you to return and you not be ready."

Tulowitzki saw a specialist this week to get some soft tissue work done in hopes of speeding up the recovery process, but he's at least a few days away from having a clearer picture of when he'll be able to play again, he said.

The 30-year-old suffered the injury when he collided with center fielder Kevin Pillar as they tracked a fly ball against the Yankees in New York last week. The club had tentatively set a two- to three-week recovery process, but it's not clear if that's still realistic. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the longer the injury persists, the more difficult a return will be for Tulowitzki.

"It's too hard to tell, it's so late in the year, you don't know how long those things linger," Gibbons said. "The longer it lasts, it's tougher because there's not rehab assignments."

With Tulowitzki on the shelf, the Blue Jays are without their two starting middle infielders. The team recently shut down Devon Travis for the season. The rookie second baseman, who's been suffering from a lingering shoulder injury, is set to have exploratory surgery next week.

In their absences, Ryan Goins and Cliff Pennington have taken on shortstop and second-base duties, respectively. The club also acquired Darwin Barney in a trade with the Dodgers to provide some depth.

Although Tulowitzki hadn't yet rounded into form at the plate, the Blue Jays have been on a tear since they acquired him from the Rockies at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, going 35-11 over that span entering Saturday.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for
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