Walker: Blue Jays expect Sanchez’s ligament to heal in 4-6 weeks

Aaron Sanchez talks about being shut down for the rest of the 2017 season and how he is already preparing for the 2018 campaign.

A ligament issue will prevent Aaron Sanchez from pitching again in 2017, but the right-hander’s pitching coach says he should be completely healthy within four to six weeks.

Pete Walker said on Baseball Central Monday that the Blue Jays consulted with medical specialists and determined that Sanchez’s middle right finger isn’t seriously hurt.

“It’s minor. It’s a strain,” Walker told Jeff Blair and Kevin Barker on Sportsnet 590 The FAN. “We’re still trying to figure out exactly how it came about, but it certainly could have come from altering his release because of the blister at times.”

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Sanchez made eight starts in 2017, pitching just 36 innings. Blister and fingernail issues sent him to the disabled list four times in a disappointing follow-up to a breakout 2016 season that saw him lead the American League in ERA.

Walker expects Sanchez to begin a normal throwing program in early December after he rests the impacted ligament.

“This off-season should be, we hope, a normal off-season,” Walker said. “It’s been a frustrating year for him to say the least. To us as well, the organization. He was the AL ERA leader and one of the best pitchers in baseball last season, so to lose him was a significant blow to the staff. It was difficult.”

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