Riccardi suggested after the all-star break against Seattle, but that appears to be a bit optimistic right now. The infection hasn't gone away completely. Article below...
KANSAS CITY -- It took a little longer than the Blue Jays expected, but it was good news nonetheless. Alex Rios was released from Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto on Friday after being sidelined for more than a week with a staph infection in his left leg.
"Alex was released from the hospital," Toronto bench coach Ernie Whitt said. "He is walking -- on crutches, but the crutches were just helping him a bit. He seems to be OK."
George Poulis, Toronto's head trainer, said that Rios would probably use the crutches for a couple more days. He said that Rios, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday, still didn't have enough strength to walk on his own and there wasn't a set timetable on the right fielder's return.
While in the hospital, where he was admitted on June 29, Rios did light physical therapy -- mainly range-of-motion activities with his legs. Poulis said that Rios is able to ride on a stationary bike, but wasn't sure when the 25-year-old, who has lost about 10 pounds since the injury occurred, would be able to begin running again.
"That's the million dollar question," Poulis said. "Everyone's asking me that."
The Jays will be extra cautious with Rios because they don't want to risk spreading the infection to another part of his body. If the bacteria aren't completely gone and Rios were to perform intense exercises, the staph infection could spread. Rios was given antibiotics through an IV in the hospital and is now taking medication orally to fight the infection.
The injury originated from a pitch that Rios fouled off his left shin, above his ankle, on June 27 against Washington. The ball most likely broke the skin, allowing bacteria to produce the infection. When Rios arrived at Rogers Centre on June 29, the bruised area of his leg had reddened significantly and that's when the Blue Jays sent him to the hospital for further treatment.
Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi said last week that he expected Rios to be ready to rejoin the Blue Jays for their series against the Mariners following the All-Star break. With no indication as to when Rios might be back at full strength, though, it appears Rios may be sidelined even longer.
Rios, who is hitting .330 with 15 home runs and 53 RBIs, won't miss the All-Star Game on Tuesday in Pittsburgh, though. The outfielder was voted onto the American League team for the first time in his career by the players and plans to attend, even though he won't be able to participate. Texas outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. was named as Rios' replacement.
"He's on the road to recovery," Whitt said. "Now it's just a healing process."
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax