Blue Jays' Tulowitzki to have surgery, Donaldson moves to DH to save shoulder

Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has opted for surgery to remove bone spurs in both of his heels.

General manager Ross Atkins said Friday that Tulowitzki will have the procedure done Monday and hopes the five-time all-star can get back on the field in eight weeks.

Tulowitzki was placed on the 60-day disabled list before Thursday’s season-opening loss against the New York Yankees.

“It’s been a frustrating off-season and this was (Tulowitzki’s) decision,” Atkins said. “He’s driving it, he’s been driving the whole process. He had five ankle and foot specialists talk to him, three different physical meetings with foot and ankle specialists.

“So at this point without conservative treatment working, (surgery) is the next step.”

Atkins added that the both bone spurs are attached to Tulowitzki’s Achilles tendons. The surgery will remove the spurs and leave the tendons intact.

Tulowitzki hasn’t played since sustaining a right ankle injury last July after his foot landed on Angels first baseman C.J. Cron’s heel at the bag.

The 33-year-old was bothered by the bone spurs after rehabilitating the initial injury.

“They didn’t present themselves until right up to the beginning of spring training with the first (bone spur). We felt we were making some progress then the other foot started bothering him,” Atkins said.

Tulowitzki batted .249 with seven homers and 26 RBIs in 66 games with the Blue Jays last season. He’s hit .250 with 36 home runs and 122 RBI’s since coming to Toronto in a mid-season trade in 2015.

Speaking before Friday night’s home game against New York, Atkins also said the team plans on using third baseman Josh Donaldson as a designated hitter until his “dead arm phase” lifts.

The 2015 American League most valuable player was affected by weakness in his throwing arm during Thursday’s game.

Donaldson said afterwards that he wasn’t experiencing any pain in his shoulder, but that he had been dealing with it since spring training.

Atkins did not provide a timetable for Donaldson’s return to third base.

“For a dead arm phase it really is just working through it,” Atkins said. “Physically and structurally he’s fine.”

“It really is a day-to-day issue,” he added. “It could be a week, it could be significantly more, could be less.”

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