Injured Blue Jay Springer vows to get rehab right this time

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Yes, George Springer is frustrated and yes he wishes the nagging quad injury that has been at the centre of a week-long saga with the Blue Jays wasn’t so stubborn to heal.

But the big-money addition to the young team has no regrets about trying to get back in the lineup and make an early impact, even as the recovery regimen backfired.

The Jays are in full reset with Springer’s recovery and certainly won’t activate him again until they are convinced there won’t be a further setback.

“I just know that I wanted to play and I wanted to be out there with the team,” Springer said on a Zoom call from his former home stadium — Houston’s Minute Maid Park where he was a star centre-fielder with the Astros. “I wanted to contribute any way that I can. I tried to be smart. I tried to do everything in my power to control it.

“I thought I was ready to go. Obviously that didn’t work out the way that I wanted it to, so now it’s about getting back out there but more importantly staying back out there.”

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In some ways, the Springer situation has been a disaster from the outset, raising questions of whether he came back too soon by attempting to force the issue. He’s played just three and a half of his new team’s first 30 games and has yet to take command of centre field. On Thursday, GM Ross Atkins suggested that this injury list residency is likely to last longer than 10 days, a prognosis Springer didn’t exactly dispute.

“I can’t give you a timeline,” Springer said. “I know that I just have to get it right because I don’t want to get her again. I have to make sure that I’m 150 per cent to make sure that I don’t have a setback.

“Whenever that is, I have to be smart and make sure that I’m ready to go.”

While the blame game is an easy one, at issue in the recovery was Springer’s high pain threshold that seemingly was at odds with the imaging of the quad injury showed. Like a thoroughbred in the starting gate, he just wanted to be sprung free to get going and believed that his body was ready to deliver on that desire.

Now, however, it seems both sides are well aware that they can’t afford not to get it right this time.

“I think obviously the experience that I have now is not the one I want,” Springer said when asked if there will be a different approach to rehabbing the injuries this time around. “Those are conversations that I’ll sit down with the medical staff and check off whatever boxes they think I need to check off before I can get back out there to make sure I’m 100 per cent.

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“I trust my body. I know my body. Injuries happen. It’s part of the game but it’s tough to get through.”

Manager Charlie Montoyo will be the lead voice preaching patience but insisted that Springer will be consulted.

“At the end of the day it’s going to be up to him, how he does it,” Montoyo said. “He knows how he feels. Of course we are going to take it slowly. We want him back, but it’s going to be up to him. Whenever he says he’s ready to go, he’s going to be active. We’re going to be patient. As long as it takes.”

The second guessing choir will accurately point out that an extra dose of patience the first time around would have been prudent, but here we are.

“To say extremely frustrating would be an understatement,” said Springer, who will remain with the team and help out with whatever expertise he can offer. “I want to play. Especially being new here, new to the team, new to the organization.

“I was excited to come and play, attempt to help in whatever way I could and obviously I’m no good on the bench.”

THROWIN’ MANOAH
Big Alek Manoah has no interest in slowing down the hype train surrounding his development. The hard-throwing right-hander was sensational in his triple A debut on Thursday night in Trenton N.J., striking out 12 while allowing just two hits in six shutout innings for the Buffalo Bisons.

“I’m one of those guys who doesn’t put too much stock in spring training — but what I saw in spring training, he was impressive,” Montoyo said.

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“He had an outstanding game (on Thursday.)

“That’s one thing you get with college guys. He’s really mature for his age, that’s for sure.”

AROUND THE BASES
Rare is the day that a Jays player doesn’t get dispatched to the IL and on Friday it was utility infielder Joe Panik’s turn with an ailing calf. To take his place on the roster, the Jays recalled first baseman/DH Rowdy Tellez from the Bisons … With his seventh homer of the season on Thursday, Marcus Semien matched his total for 2020’s shortened campaign. With Springer out, the second baseman has reclaimed his spot as Montoyo’s leadoff hitter … Centre fielder Randal Grichuk entered Friday’s play with 26 RBI (after driving in five on Thursday) second only to J.D. Martinez’s 31 in the majors.

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