TORONTO – One day after leaving the field with left knee discomfort, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. expressed hope that he’d return to action before long. While the 20-year-old wasn’t in the Toronto Blue Jays’ starting lineup Sunday, he said the ‘tweak’ he felt Saturday was far more mild than the strained left patellar tendon that sidelined him for 39 days last summer.
“It was totally different from last year,” Guerrero Jr. said through interpreter Hector Lebron. “I wouldn’t be standing here if it was the one like last year – I couldn’t even walk last year, pretty much. So I’m good but, I just want to be cautious about it, we all want to be cautious about it and hopefully I’ll be back in the lineup very soon.”
Guerrero Jr. left Saturday’s game after the second inning, at which point the Blue Jays evaluated his knee further. An MRI revealed no serious damage, and Guerrero Jr. said he felt ‘a lot’ better Sunday. Still, there’s little reason to rush the 20-year-old back given his importance to the franchise, especially during a potential 95-loss season.
“I didn’t feel that uncomfortable because I knew it wasn’t that bad,” he said. “I just want to be cautious about it and I decided at that particular moment that I should stop and talk to the trainers just to be on the safe side.”
The Blue Jays have managed Guerrero Jr.’s workload cautiously all season, mixing in regular rest even when he’s been fully healthy. Now that he’s dealing with knee discomfort it stands to reason that the Blue Jays will be even more cautious.
As for the next few days, the Blue Jays are off Monday before heading to Los Angeles for three days against the Dodgers. At this stage, it’s too soon to say when exactly Guerrero Jr. will return.
“I’m not going to put a date,” he said. “I like to go out there and play very hard so when I feel like my knee has fully recovered, I’m going to go out there.”