Blue Jays GM: No guarantee Travis returns this year

Devon Travis could return to the Toronto Blue Jays‘ lineup this season, but there’s a chance he doesn’t take the field again until 2018, according to general manager Ross Atkins.

On Friday, three days after the oft-injured second baseman underwent surgery to clean up frayed cartilage in his right knee, Atkins conceded that Travis will likely miss at least three months, and could very well be done for the year.

“I mean, usually these procedures are a couple of months, and into three and four months,” Atkins told TSN ahead of Friday’s series opener against the Chicago White Sox. “So, on the low side, probably three months. And we’ll see – there’s nothing concrete about it, we’re still learning about it. We’re hopeful that we could see him again, but certainly don’t want to put anything concrete out there about this year.”

Since he debuted with the Blue Jays in 2015, Travis’ right knee has continually caused problems for the 26-year-old. In October, he suffered a bone bruise in his knee that sidelined him for the final three games of the American League Championship Series, and then underwent offseason surgery to remove a flap of cartilage that was caught in his right knee joint.

Travis, who had hit .352 with a .974 OPS and 16 doubles in 29 games following an abysmal April, needed four months of recovery time after having his knee operated on during the offseason.

“Anytime you lose a player to an injury, it’s extremely disappointing,” Atkins said. “And what we focus on now is solutions, not just with Devon, but in and around him, how we complement our team here, and we focus on solutions with Devon, as well.”

For now, the club appears determined to replace Travis with players already on the 25-man roster, having started Darwin Barney or Ryan Goins at second base in all seven games since he got hurt. Alternatively, the club could promote Jason Leblebijian from Triple-A Buffalo, where the 26-year-old has hit .304/.375/.502 with eight homers and 11 doubles in 60 games this season.

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