Slow-healing quad injury sends Blue Jays' Springer back to the injury list

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That celebrated return of George Springer to the place where he helped lead the Astros to a World Series title in 2017?

Houston, there is a big problem.

The ongoing saga of Springer’s quad injury took another twist on Wednesday when the star centre fielder had an MRI taken in Oakland in the morning and then moments prior to a game against the Athletics was placed on the 10-day injured list for the second time this season.

The team determined that Springer aggravated the original injury and given that it has been slow to heal, felt there was no choice but to shut him down. Again.

Wednesday’s move ended a baffling turn of events with the Jays star in waiting, who has played just four games. in

The trouble began on Saturday in Dunedin when Springer had homered twice but then appeared to do further damage when he pulled up running out a ground ball to first base. On Sunday, Springer started the game at DH but was removed with what the team described as “fatigue.”

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Turns out it was much more than that.

When the Jays arrived in Oakland, Springer wasn’t in the lineup for Monday’s game, a move the team deflected as a scheduled day off. But when he wasn’t able to play on Tuesday, it was clear something was up with Springer, who has been dogged with soft tissue injuries throughout his career.

Manager Charlie Montoyo said the decision to have an MRI was made in consultation with Springer and the Jays medical team. The quad isn’t healing fast enough leaving the team with a short bench for the first three games on this trip.

“The main reason we did it is we didn’t see him improving fast enough,” Montoyo said of Springer, who will be eligible to return on May 13 at the earliest. “We decided to get some imaging done to determine the next step.”

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That next step is a return to the IL and perhaps an opportunity to let the injury heal properly for a prized asset that has been limited to those for appearances and none in the outfield.

ROARK WRITE-OFF

What did the Jays get for the $24 million US they invested in starting pitcher Tanner Roark?

The struggling right-hander cleared waivers on Wednesday and is now a free agent after failing miserably in his tenure with the Jays. In 11 starts in 2020, Roark laboured to an ERA of 6.80 and followed that up with a 6.43 ERA in just three appearances.

Signed to provide a dependable hand who could get plenty of starts the Jays bet significant guaranteed money on that possibility. Instead, the 34-year-old laboured from the outset and never truly got competitive enough for the Jays to keep him in the rotation.

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“For some reason, he just never got going with us,” Montoyo said. “The best compliment I could give Tanner is that he worked hard. Even when things weren’t going right, he was always willing to stay in the game and take it for the team.”

AROUND THE BASES

Some grim injury news for Julian Merryweather who was transferred to the 60-day IL as his oblique strain continues to be bothersome. Merryweather first went out on April 14 so the earliest he can return is June 13. The right-hander, of course, was scintillating in his first three outings of the year and figured to be a big part of the bullpen … On a better note, act Hyun-Jin Ryu will exit the injured list on Thursday and will get the start for the matinee finale of the four-gamer against the Athletics … The Jays activated Reese McGuire in time for Wednesday’s game ending the possibility of backstop prospect Riley Adams seeing some game action. “We want him to keep playing,” Montoyo said. “He’s got to play every day to keep getting better. He’s part of our future.”

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