CHICAGO - Jose Reyes was scheduled to leave for Florida on Wednesday.
It's time for his minor league rehab assignment, the next and final step toward the shortstop's return from a sprained left ankle and Blue Jays' manager John Gibbons can't wait to see him go.
"How long it will take I don't know," said Gibbons. "I would say a couple of weeks I think he's got to play but that could change, too."
Not even Reyes can predict the exact date of his return.
"I didn't play for two months so when you don't play for that long, you're going to lose some stuff," he said. "But at least I've been hitting (batting practice) the last two weeks, working on my swing but the big thing is going to be facing live pitching. That's when I'm going to know where my swing's at but other than that, everything feels good.
"Maybe five, six, two, who knows, it depends on how I'm feeling," Reyes continued when asked how many rehab games he would need. "If it feels like my swing is there where I need to be, I don't want to take too long because I need to be here and not down there."
Reyes has accomplished as much as he can with trainer George Poulis and strength coach Bryan King. As days have gone by, his pre-game routine has intensified.
What began with light jogging, hitting off a tee and ground balls hit directly to Reyes morphed into sprinting and running the bases, full batting practice and grounders which required side-to-side movement.
All tests, to this point, have been passed. It's time to play.
"Good, good speed right there," said Reyes. "I still have a little bit more left when I start to play the games. But I feel good, the way I performed when running the bases. Hitting is good and the last time, ground balls, I thought it was going to be an issue but it wasn't an issue at all because I was moving side-to-side, go back on pop-ups and stuff like that."
Starter Brandon Morrow, who was placed on the disabled list June 1 with right forearm soreness, will be on the same flight to Florida as Reyes.
Morrow threw a bullpen session on Tuesday, felt good, and is ready to enter the next stage of his rehabilitation.
Morrow will make two or three rehab starts.
Running out of time to make a run
Since a May 11 win in Boston, the Blue Jays have been no better than seven games below .500, no worse than 10 below the break-even mark.
Manager John Gibbons knows the club is running out of time to get back in the race.
"You look back, we were in position to win that game against Texas, that would have been big, and then it was back and forth (Monday) night," said Gibbons. "Those would have been a couple of big wins for us because until you get to .500, I don't want to say pissing in the wind but basically that's what you're doing."