Jose Bautista has turf toe, will be re-assessed in two weeks

Jose Bautista with George Poulis and John Gibbons
Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Late this afternoon, Jeff Blair tweeted that Jose Bautista is currently in Florida rehabbing his big toe, and that the official diagnosis of his injury is “turf toe.”

For those unfamiliar with the condition, I refer you to a piece from the Injury Report Doctor that I was pointed to by @DrMikeSonne, which discusses a 2014 injury to A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals, described as “a little bit more than turf toe.”

The piece explains that “‘Turf toe’ is just a quick term used to describe a Metatarsophalangeal joint (MTP joint) strain/sprain injury,” and theorizes that Green’s was of the Grade 2 variety, based on factors that sound familiar to Bautista’s case (the grade of which has also yet to be made public).

To wit [everything sic’d]:

I think it is safe to say that it is beyond a grade 1, as he is seeing multiple specialist and likely to miss the game this week. It is also safe to say it is not a grade 3 as this would have caused a more definite time-table for his return and may have required surgery. Therefore, I come to the conclusion that we are dealing with a grade 2 sprain/strain injury for his big toe.

While I say that this is still a sprain/strain injury similar to those that occur at other joints such as your knee or ankle, the difference with “turf toe” is that the joint and its ligaments/tendons are small enough to make adding support very difficult, but important enough to hinder almost everything you do on a football field.

Bautista, according to a tweet from Arden Zwelling, was diagnosed by foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson, who works with the Carolina Panthers. Scott MacArthur adds that Anderson wasn’t alarmed by what he saw, while Ben Nicholson-Smith tells us that Bautista will remain in a walking boot for two weeks before being reassessed.

Obviously this won’t be a quick 15 day trip to the DL like we had hoped when the injury occurred. Tonight will be the fourth game Bautista has missed since he was placed on the DL back on Friday, and even if his reassessment two weeks from now goes as well as possible, and he’s cleared for baseball activity then and there, he’ll probably need to get in at least a couple rehab appearances before re-joining the big club. Since I’ve speculated way too much already in this piece, I might as well continue and say that it would seem a decent bet that he won’t return until after the All-Star break.

I can’t stress enough, that’s entirely just guesswork, but yeah… I’ve heard better news. That said, the schedule is fairly favourable for the Jays right now (vs. ARI, @ CWS, @ COL, vs. CLE, vs. KCR, vs. DET before the break, then @ OAK, @ ARI, vs. SEA, vs. SDP coming out of it), and the team’s offence has been heating up (and just got Troy Tulowitzki back), so I guess it’s coming at a pretty good time, too. 

Well, unless you’re Bautista, who I’m sure would have loved to feast on some of those clubs and get his walk year turned around from a statistical perspective.