NEW YORK – Jose Bautista is eyeing an early September return to the lineup after the Toronto Blue Jays placed their all-star slugger on the disabled list with a bone bruise in his left hip.
The injury, sustained an estimated two weeks ago when he pulled up while charging to home plate and planning to slide, will require a two-week period of shutdown and treatment. After that he expects to resume baseball activities before getting back on the field.
“I’m not expecting to be shut down,” Bautista said after a 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees capped a doubleheader sweep that made for a thoroughly miserable day. “From what the doctor said, and I have full trust in his diagnosis, after the two weeks he expects the bone bruise to be somewhat healed if not completely, then after that a couple days of baseball action, and I’ll be ready to go.”
Bautista, who left in the fourth inning of the opener for tests that led to his diagnosis, is the 19th different Blue Jays player to land on the disabled list this season, joining fellow starting outfielders Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera on the sidelines.
The Blue Jays played an outfield of Rajai Davis, Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar the rest of the way, and manager John Gibbons said the plan was to call up some outfield help. Moises Sierra, at triple-A Buffalo, is the only other available outfielder on the 40-man roster.
Bautista didn't think his injury was a big deal initially, but "it just kept getting worse and worse and worse. It got to the point today that after a day off and taking anti-inflammatories it got to enough pain that I got a little worried."
"Every time I land my leg, it's in a spot where it hurts every single time," he continued, adding it didn't affect him at the plate. "Just taking off or slamming on the breaks, it creates enough pain for me not to be performing up to 60, 70 per cent of what I can go at. I don't think I'm doing this team any favours by being out there and not being ready to play."
Compounding the bone bruise is some straining of the muscles around it. He'll receive treatments including ultrasound, laser and ice for a week before he slowly returns to a stationary bike. He'll be re-evaluated in two weeks, and if there's no improvement, the only prescription is "just rest."
"There's no surgery, no more aggressive therapy or way to heal it," said Bautista. "It's just resting."
Bautista will remain with the team during the treatment period, with a focus on keeping as much pressure off the hip as possible.