Gibbons: Tulowitzki return possible vs. Orioles or Rays

John Gibbons praises the ability of Russell Martin to withstand all the punishment he's gone through, telling Baseball Central that there's something different about the Montreal native who "wills himself to win."

John Gibbons says it’s “a possibility” that the Toronto Blue Jays could get Troy Tulowitzki back at some point during the team’s upcoming visits to Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

Tulowitzki hasn’t played since suffering a small fracture in his left shoulder blade on Sept. 12 in an outfield collision with teammate Kevin Pillar. The shortstop told Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith earlier this week that he hadn’t started seriously swinging a bat but that pain in his shoulder had diminished steadily after fielding some ground balls and throwing Tuesday.

“When I first got this injury I was in a lot of pain, but as the days have gone on the pain’s died down. I feel better each and every day,” Tulowitzki said.

Gibbons told Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker on Baseball Central that Tulowitzki was going to “get a bit of work in” on Thursday, an off day for the Blue Jays.

“I don’t know if it’s overly optimistic but maybe (he could return) sometime in that Baltimore series, but I guess that’s possible,” Gibbons said. “I’m definitely hoping maybe by Tampa. That’s all we have left, really.

“But he’s moving in the right direction. We’ll see. It’s one of those things, he’s getting better but you can’t put a date on it. It’s one of those kinds of deals.”

The Blue Jays, who hold a 3.5-game lead over the Yankees in the AL East, begin their final home series of the regular season against the Rays Friday before a four-game stint in Baltimore and three games in Tampa.

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