Blue Jays: Hyun Jin Ryu reportedly eyeing July comeback from Tommy John

 Eric Treuden
Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays
Chicago White Sox v Toronto Blue Jays / Vaughn Ridley/GettyImages
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In a most-welcomed development for Blue Jays fans, stud left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu told the media earlier on Wednesday that he is on track for a July return in the upcoming campaign.

Ryu, 35, is recovering from his second Tommy John surgery that kept him out of the majority of last year and will do so for about half of 2023. TJS typically has a 12-to-18 month recovery time and Ryu is on pace to be on the short end of that.

In a piece by the Korean Times, it was noted that Ryu is feeling a sense of urgency in his recovery this offseason. A free agent at the end of this upcoming season, he is set to return to the United States in January to continue an aggressive form of rehab as he looks to recover on the quicker end of the Tommy John spectrum.

The aforementioned sense of urgency comes in the form of his upcoming return to free agency. If he misses any more time than is absolutely necessary, he is sacrificing valuable mound time that he could use to re-build his value. A return in July will only guarantee Ryu a few short months to prove his worth.

Ryu told reporters, "I met with my surgeon before coming home and I am right on schedule. At this rate, I should be able to return immediately after the All-Star break. I think I will start getting into rehab games in June. I will try to come back in July and put on good performances for my fans."

The re-insertion of Ryu into the Blue Jays' starting rotation will be huge for the club. As things currently stand, some combination of Alek Manoah, Chris Bassitt, Kevin Gausman, José Berríos and Yusei Kikuchi/Mitch White are set to be the starting five.

While the first four in the rotation form one of the strongest quartets in the game, the No. 5 spot is a bit of a question mark that will hopefully clear up once July rolls around. Ryu's re-entry to the rotation will likely push either Kikuchi or White to the bullpen, where they are both better off.

Over the course of his three-year Blue Jays career, Ryu is 21-12 to this point with a 4.07 ERA in 49 starts paired with a 108 ERA+. While these aren't quite the numbers posted when he was with the Dodgers, he has still been a reliable starter for the club and will be most welcomed back when he is finally healthy.

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