Jays' Donaldson diagnosed with calf strain, expected to start season

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was diagnosed with a right calf strain, but is expected to be ready for the start of the season according to a report from Sportsnet's Shi Davidi.

Veteran slugger 'felt something' during Friday sprints

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson skipped the team's first full-squad workout of Spring Training on Saturday. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson was diagnosed with a strained right calf on Saturday, causing him to miss the team's first full-squad spring training workout.

Donaldson felt a tweak after running sprints at the team's spring facility Friday and had an MRI exam on Saturday. He'll be re-evaluated daily and is expected to be ready for the start of the season.

"Any time in professional sports that an athlete is injured there's some level of concern," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said before the MRI results came back. "It's not the news you want to receive but you anticipate it, it's inevitable with all the players and what I can tell you is that Josh does a very good job of taking care of himself.

"He's put himself in a great position this off-season, he's in really good shape and he also recovers very well. When you factor all of that in it mitigates the concern to some extent."

Donaldson, the American League MVP in 2015, hit .284 last season with 37 homers and 99 RBIs.

"Hopefully it's not a big deal, it might cost him a few days," manager John Gibbons said. "That's not going to kill him either."

Donaldson strained his right calf last April in a game at Tampa Bay. Donaldson was removed from that game — Toronto's fourth of the season — but was back in the lineup as the designated hitter for the Blue Jays' next game two days later in Boston.

He stayed at DH for three games the following week before returning to third base. Atkins said he didn't think the two injuries were related.

"We'll certainly dig into that and look for any possible resource we can find and ensure it doesn't happen again," Atkins said. "But [I] don't feel that there is reason to believe that it is."

Catcher Russell Martin also missed Saturday's workout with a fever.