Blue Jays OF Michael Saunders now expected to return in April

Saturday February 28th, 2015

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders underwent surgery on Friday and his expected recovery timetable has now been bumped up to 5-6 weeks, the team announced

On Thursday, the Jays announced that Saunders had a torn meniscus in his left knee and would likely be out until the All-Star break in July. He was reportedly injured while shagging fly balls on Wednesday.

According to Sportsnet's Shi Davidi, the change in Saunders' prognosis came after the surgeon found the tear "was so significant, it could not be repaired." Instead of trying to fix the meniscus, which requires a longer recovery period, Saunders opted have the damaged cartilage removed anyway.

CHEN: Three reasons Pirates could win World Series

"Having him back sooner is great, and nice that he’s got a chance to be back by the middle of April,” said Toronto general manager Alex​ Anthopoulos. "If he recovers well, it could be a little sooner. I think the standard is four to six weeks, but just because we’re in spring training and trying to get ready, and talking with the doctors, he's going to need at-bats. That’s maybe where it’s going to take a little bit longer."

Saunders, 28, was traded from the Seattle Mariners to the Blue Jays in exchange for pitcher J.A. Happ in December. In 78 games last season, he batted .273 with eight home runs and 34 RBI.

The Blue Jays open the 2015 season on April 6 against the Yankees in New York. 

- Molly Geary

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.