Santos re-joins Blue Jays

Sergio Santos re-joined the Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon in Anaheim after being away for almost two weeks because of inflammation in his right shoulder. Santos initially left the team on April 21 to be examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum and since that required him to travel to California he also spent some time with his family that lives in the area.

It was with mixed emotions that Santos went to the Anaheim area. On one hand, he got to visit his wife and children — including a newborn baby that is less than a month old. On the other, it required Santos to spend time away from a team that he is trying to make a good impression with in his first year with the organization.

Below you’ll find today’s Q+A with Santos. On the main site, you’ll also find a notebook with items on Santos, Rajai Davis and Jeff Mathis. Later on, tonight’s game story will be posted as well. Don’t forget you can follow me on Twitter @gregorMLB.

The one positive thing that you could take away from this injury is that it allowed you to spend some more time at home with your wife and newborn baby…

“It’s bittersweet. I wanted to be at home to spend some time with my family but I want to be out with the guys, playing baseball with them. I’ve been watching them, following them, on the MLB Network and my baseball package. It was nice but just being back in the clubhouse feels good, and it feels good to put your stuff back on and I’m feeling a lot better so I’m excited about that.”

Seems like you are receiving a lot of support from teammates and the organization. Not much pressure to return from injury until you’re completely healthy…

“It was more me trying to do more. I want to come back as quickly as I can just because whenever you come to a new team you want to show what you’ve got. So that’s the hard part, the hard part is kind of holding the reins back and not letting me go. I thought I was ready to play catch, I called (trainer) George Poulis, I think five days after I was on the DL and I said okay, can I start playing catch now? I feel better can we get going? He said no.

“They are taking their time and it kind of shows that they care about me. They want me to get healthy and help this team because me being injured obviously doesn’t help the team and me trying to play while I’m injured doesn’t help much either.”

What has been the most difficult aspect of this…

“I think just the mental part of it. Just kind of knowing that you’re going to be the same guy as soon as your arm feels good. That’s what I’m looking forward to, that’s what I’m working hard to get healthy.”

Where are you at right now in terms of your rehab?

“I haven’t started throwing yet. I’ll start this weekend. I’ll do some shoulder program stuff and kind of strengthen the muscles around my shoulder and then start playing catch.”

And what about your timeframe for a return?

“I don’t know but it shouldn’t be too long. I’m assuming it should probably be a couple of weeks of getting my arm strength back to game form. Hopefully within the next 12-14 days that would be perfect.”

First time you’ve had an injury as a pitcher?

“I went on the DL once in 2009 for a strained hamstring, my left hamstring. But first time it’s arm-related stuff.”

Can you just run us through when you first realized you were hurt and what was going through your mind at that time?

“It was that night, letting a couple of pitches go. I just felt kind of aching in my shoulder, kind of warming up. That night was a little difficult trying to get loose and then just that following day it just felt kind of too painful to play catch. It was like, okay, my arm should feel sore but not this sore. With a precautionary thought, I came in and told them, got the MRIs done, and their best assumption was to just shut it down, let the inflammation calm down and luckily that’s all that it was.”

What made you decide to visit Dr. Yocum? The fact that he was close to your family in California?

“Our team doctor was going to be away for a couple of weeks and it was either going to be Dr. Andrews or Dr. Yocum. Another three-hour flight, two-hour flight, so I said it might as well be Yocum and get a couple of days here. I’ve met with Dr. Yocum quite a few times before so we’ve had kind of a rapport already, we’ve talked already.”

Since this is the first time you experienced that type of injury… when you first felt the discomfort was there a concern on your part that it could be a major injury?

“You can’t help but let the wheels start turning and start thinking about what it could be. That’s kind of why I wanted to get an MRI done too, to put that fear and put all the bad thoughts whatever it could be out of mind and just say, look it is what it is. It’s just inflammation in the shoulder, no tears, so it’s good.

“I was fighting myself kind of all day if I should say something or not. It hurt warming up, just achy I guess, and once I got loose it was fine … Then you start thinking can I make it worse? Can this get worse? And since it wasn’t that bad I’d rather just nip it in the bud rather than have to worry about it again.”

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