After three months out of the Toronto Blue Jays rotation, J.A. Happ is ready to make his return.
Happ spoke Tuesday before Toronto’s game against Seattle. He’ll make his first start for the Blue Jays since May 7 on Wednesday when Toronto closes out a three-game series against Seattle.
”I’m still frustrated and I still wanted to obviously be back sooner. I am happy about the way I feel now and I am happy to finally be here after all that because it wasn’t necessarily, rehab’s never fun, this kind of stuff wasn’t fun,” Happ said. ”Like I said before, makes it worth all that, worth it now being back here and to get out there tomorrow.”
Happ suffered a skull fracture and a sprained right knee when he fell to the ground in pain after being struck behind the left ear by a liner off the bat of Tampa Bay’s Desmond Jennings on May 7. Happ left the field on the stretcher and spent the night in hospital.
That was the start of a lengthy rehab process, although recovery from his head injury took only a few weeks. Happy said the head injury he could have pitched through. What delayed his return to the rotation was the knee injury where he strained a pair of ligaments.
Happ was activated from the 60-day disabled list on Monday and came to the ballpark for the first time Tuesday.
”I don’t know officially what their time frame was. In my mind, I thought it was going to be two weeks, and then three weeks, and then four to six and then six to eight. It just kept jumping,” Happ said. ”That was the most frustrating thing: I wasn’t able to turn a corner when I was hoping I would. Finally, I have lately and it’s been getting better.”
Happ had three rehab starts with Triple-A Buffalo, and went 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in 13 1-3 innings. The lefty had gone 2-2 with a 4.91 ERA in seven starts with Toronto before being injured. He said he’s not nervous about returning.
”Not about being hit again or anything like that. Obviously testing the knee a little bit, but it kept responding and it’s been getting better and better,” Happ said.