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Tulo cleared for next step, still 'a ways away'

Special to MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Troy Tulowitzki was cleared to take the next step in his rehab process after meeting with a foot specialist this week.

The Blue Jays shortstop had a "great" consultation and was cleared to run on flat ground as he continues to work back from surgery, the team announced. Tulowitzki had a procedure to remove bone spurs from both of his feet in early April.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Troy Tulowitzki was cleared to take the next step in his rehab process after meeting with a foot specialist this week.

The Blue Jays shortstop had a "great" consultation and was cleared to run on flat ground as he continues to work back from surgery, the team announced. Tulowitzki had a procedure to remove bone spurs from both of his feet in early April.

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Tulowitzki will also continue hitting, fielding and throwing routines as he "progresses to game activities." He had been running on an anti-gravity treadmill so far through his rehab.

The five-time All-Star is probably still "a ways away" from coming back to the team, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. But it's a step in the right direction for Tulowitzki.

"Good things happen when he's out there with this team," Gibbons said before his team started a weekend series against the Phillies. "Hopefully he's still mobile. We'll find out."

Tulowitzki has not played in a game since July 28, missing the end of the 2017 season with an ankle injury.

Biagini moved to bullpen; Pompey recalled

The Blue Jays moved right-hander Joe Biagini to the bullpen ahead of Friday's game. Biagini has a 7.71 ERA in four starts this season, and he last pitched on Sunday.

The move for Biagini comes after the Blue Jays optioned reliever Deck McGuire to Triple-A Buffalo and recalled outfielder Dalton Pompey.

Biagini has made 86 of his 108 Major League appearances out of the bullpen. He had a 3.06 ERA in 60 relief appearances during the 2016 season.

"Joe is good in the 'pen," Gibbons said. "A couple of years ago, he was real good. We know that. It's not like we're experimenting. How quickly he picks that back up, we'll find out. But I don't know why he wouldn't."

Pompey, meanwhile, has appeared in five games for Toronto this season. The 25-year-old is a .221 lifetime hitter in the Majors and has two hits in 10 at-bats in 2018.

Injury updates

•  Shortstop Aledmys Diaz (sprained left ankle) will likely begin a rehab assignment next week.

•  Outfielder Randal Grichuk (sprained right knee) will continue his rehab assignment this weekend. Grichuk is with Class A Advanced Dunedin, but could move to Double-A New Hampshire in the event of bad weather.

•  Outfielder Steve Pearce (strained oblique) has been doing long toss and running drills. He'll likely begin a hitting program next week.

•  Right-hander Marcus Stroman (right shoulder fatigue) will begin long toss on Saturday and is set for a bullpen session next week. Stroman began throwing earlier this week.

Stephen Pianovich is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Toronto Blue Jays, Troy Tulowitzki