NEW YORK, New York - Jose Reyes is more than a month away from returning to the Blue Jays' lineup but he's ready to get a closer view of the action.
"Every game,” said Reyes when asked if he's been watching his teammates play. “I have nothing to do but watch the game and support the team from my house.”
Reyes, who lives in New York with his wife and three children, has rejoined the club for the weekend series and Yankee Stadium and will accompany the team back to Toronto on Sunday evening.
It's then the rehabilitation of his badly sprained left ankle will intensify.
Since abandoning a walking boot more than a week ago, Reyes has been riding an exercise bike daily, trying to maintain his cardiovascular conditioning while working ankle-specific exercises.
Progress was made three days ago when, under the watchful eye of his personal trainer, Rob Panariello, Reyes began jogging and hitting off a tee. Next, likely within two weeks, he'll start running on a treadmill. Then when he's ready, he'll move out to the field.
"Believe me, sometimes my trainer, he gets crazy because I want to run so bad, I want to do everything in one day,” said Reyes. “But I have to think don't put myself back. I've been through a lot of injuries in my career and I learned from that. I know I need to take my time, do my rehab the way I'm supposed to do it and then go from there. I don't want to say take my time, but see every day how I feel and make the progression from that.”
Reyes will consider the first time he runs the bases without pain a benchmark. Rounding the bases, stopping and starting on fly ball tag ups and secondary leads all put torque on the ankle. When they're accomplished without incident Reyes will know it's time to play.
In the meantime, Reyes was his typical jubilant self on Friday afternoon. He stretched with his teammates and hung around the shortstop position as Munenori Kawasaki took pregame ground balls.
If one wondered why Reyes is choosing to return to Toronto next week instead of continuing his rehab at the Blue Jays' complex in Dunedin, the reason became obvious watching Reyes interact with his teammates.
“My rehab feels like it [will] take forever,” he said. “I just want to be here with my teammates, support the guys as best I can.”
“Guys are glad to see him,” said manager John Gibbons. “He's a sparkplug, he was earlier in the year for us and just him being around gives you that good feeling.”
McGOWAN TO BUFFALO
Dustin McGowan, on the 60-day disabled list rehabbing his surgically-repaired right shoulder, has been transferred to Triple-A Buffalo.
The 31-year-old made two appearances with Single-A Dunedin, each a scoreless inning, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out four.
McGowan last appeared in a major league game on September 26, 2011. He made five appearances that month, after injuries had kept him out of the big leagues since 2008.
JOSH JOHNSON UPDATE
Johnson threw a bullpen session in Dunedin on Thursday and reported good health.
The plan is to have the right-hander join class-A Dunedin for a rehab assignment early next week.
Earlier this week general manager Alex Anthopoulos pegged May 20 or 21 as possible dates for Johnson to see minor league game action.