TORONTO — Josh Donaldson is back with his Blue Jays teammates in Toronto. He just wishes he could play a game with them.
Donaldson took batting practice and fielded ground balls with his teammates at Rogers Centre ahead of Friday’s game against the Washington Nationals. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 29 with left calf soreness.
"I would like to be able to play as soon as possible, as soon as I can run," said Donadlson in the Blue Jays clubhouse. "If that takes one game (in the minors), if that takes two or three games, so be it. I haven’t gotten to that point yet.
"I don’t know if there’s anybody that wants to be out in the field more than I do."
Donaldson tried running the basepaths in a workout on Thursday but still wasn’t 100 per cent. He cut the sprinting session short for fear of making the injury worse.
"My calf’s just not ready to sprint right now," said Donaldson. "Baby steps in the right direction, being able to run and kind of do a few things here and there. Or I can do everything, minus getting to top speed.
"I need to be able to run and I need to be able to run comfortably."
Donaldson has a .234 batting average with five home runs and 16 runs batted in through 36 games this season. He also missed time earlier this year with numbness in his throwing shoulder.
The 2015 American League MVP is a career .275 hitter with 179 homers and 544 RBIs.
Neither he nor Toronto manager John Gibbons were sure if Donaldson would slot right into the Blue Jays lineup when he’s all healed up or if he would do a brief rehab assignment with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
"I think he might go down to play a game to test it," said Gibbons. "Game-like conditions. I think that would be smart."