BALTIMORE – Maicer Izturis fears that he seriously injured his left knee when he slipped walking down the visiting dugout steps in the first inning of the Toronto Blue Jays’ 11-3 thumping of the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday.
An MRI on Monday in Minnesota should determine the extent of the damage for the utility infielder, who was placed on disabled list immediately following the game, with Munenori Kawasaki called up from triple-A Buffalo.
In the lineup at second base, Izturis never took the field after an awkward step to the bat rack.
“I felt it pop twice and now I feel pain,” said Izturis, who’s never had any knee problems before. “I’m worried about it.”
The injury comes just as the Blue Jays were on the verge of returning to full health.
Star shortstop Jose Reyes (hamstring) and closer Casey Janssen (lower abs/back) left for Florida on Sunday to begin rehabilitation assignments, while J.A. Happ (back) will be activated from the DL before Tuesday’s series opener against the Minnesota Twins.
Catcher Erik Kratz was optioned to Buffalo to make room for Happ.
Kawasaki is likely just a stopgap until Reyes ready to rejoin the Blue Jays, likely on Friday when they open a series in Cleveland. Reyes is due to play in an extended spring game Monday to control his workload before he gets into a regular-season game for single-A Dunedin on Tuesday.
Janssen will pitch in a game on either Monday or Tuesday and he’s expected to need either two or three rehab outings before he returns. The Blue Jays are currently carrying eight relievers and one of them will likely be displaced once Janssen is ready.