Springer making strides in recovery from knee injury, runs bases without issue

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TORONTO — Star outfielder George Springer appeared one step closer to returning to the Toronto lineup after completing base-running drills Thursday before the Blue Jays' afternoon game against the Chicago White Sox.

Springer, who went on the 10-day injured list Aug. 15 with a left knee sprain, ran hard around the bases several times under the watchful eye of team staff.

"(It went) great, that's probably why I'm smiling a little bit now," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said in his pre-game media availability.

Springer became eligible for activation Wednesday but his return was ruled out for the four-game White Sox series. The Blue Jays will begin a weekend series at Detroit on Friday night.

"What he did today was a pretty good test," Montoyo said. "He did run close to 100 per cent I would say. He looked pretty fast, he looked comfortable and he felt good."

Springer also did some work in the batting cage and participated in regular batting practice at Rogers Centre.

He did some sprint drills in the outfield earlier in the week without issue before taking Wednesday off. Springer did not appear limited while making turns on the basepaths Thursday.

"He rounded the bases well and he felt good," Montoyo said. "So good news."

There was no immediate word on when Springer might be activated. Montoyo said he might serve as the designated hitter when he comes back but he could also play in the outfield depending on how he feels.

This is Springer's third stint on the disabled list this season.

He was out for the first month of the campaign due to an oblique strain. A week after being activated, he suffered a quadriceps strain and missed seven weeks.

When healthy, he has been one of Toronto's top players. Springer, who signed a US$150-million, six-year contract in the off-season, is hitting .269 with 16 homers and 35 RBIs in 49 games this year.

His return would provide a big boost for a team that's fighting to stay in the American League playoff picture. Entering play Thursday, the 66-59 Blue Jays were 4 1/2 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the race for the second wild-card spot.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2021.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

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