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BUFFERY

Jays' Donaldson suffers possible calf injury

By Steve Buffery, Toronto Sun

Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays scores off of an RBI single hit by Edwin Encarnacion against the Texas Rangers in the third inning during game three of the American League Division Series. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays scores off of an RBI single hit by Edwin Encarnacion against the Texas Rangers in the third inning during game three of the American League Division Series. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

DUNEDIN — The rain poured down on Florida Auto Exchange Stadium on Saturday just as Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins started talking about third baseman Josh Donaldson.

 

Whether the sudden downpour was some kind of sign remains to be seen. But the fact that Donaldson suffered a right calf strain — the same calf he injured last year early in the season that forced him into the DH role — is surely cause of concern for the Jays.

Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, tweaked his calf during sprints on Friday and underwent an MRI at a nearby clinic on Saturday. It revealed that he had a strain and will be treated and re-evaluated daily with the anticipation that he will be ready to start the regular season on April 3 in Baltimore.

When asked if the problem this year is related to last year’s injury, Atkins said: “We don’t think so. We don’t think it’s related (but) we’ll certainly dig into that and look for any possible resource we can find to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

“Any time in professional sport that an athlete is injured, there’s some level of concern. So it’s not the news that you want to receive,” said Atkins. “But you anticipate it. It’s inevitable with all players and what I can tell is that Josh does a very good job taking care of himself. He’s put himself in a great position this off-season, he’s in really good shape. He also recovers very well, so when you factor all of that in, it mitigates the concern to some extent.”

Obviously, if the Jays have any chance of making the playoffs for the third season in a row, they need Donaldson as healthy as possible and in the lineup.

“Hopefully it’s not a big deal,” said manager John Gibbons. “It might cost him a few days. That’s not going to kill him, either.”

Catcher Russell Martin took yesterday off from workouts after he came down with a fever.

sbuffery@postmedia.com