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Jon Rauch misses bullpen session due to ankle injury

Feb 16, 2011, 8:03 PM EDT

Rauch displays tattoos on his neck during practice at the team's MLB American League spring training facility in Dunedin

It’s a minor one, but we might have our first injury of this year’s spring training.

According to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, Blue Jays reliever Jon Rauch twisted his ankle while walking down a flight of stairs earlier this week at the club’s spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida and missed a scheduled bullpen session Wednesday because of it.

Rauch was able to play long toss on flat ground and should be back atop a mound by this weekend. The Jays are simply playing it safe here in mid-February with their new setup man.

“We just want to be sure that he has passed some tests from a physical standpoint before we put him back on the mound,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Wednesday in camp. “We’ve got time on our side right now, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be ready once we get into the [Grapefruit League] schedule.”

Rauch, 32, signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract with Toronto this winter after posting a 3.12 ERA and 46/14 K/BB ratio across 59 appearances in 2010 for the Twins. He’s expected to work as a setup man this year behind new Blue Jays closer Frank Francisco, who was acquired via trade from the Rangers last month.

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