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Jays’ Devon Travis reinjures knee, leaving playoff future up in the air

Edwin Encarnacion consoles Devon Travis as he leaves with manager John Gibbons following an injury during the fifth inning of Game 1.

Nathan Denette/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Devon Travis did not exactly cut a pretty picture as he emerged from the Toronto Blue Jays clubhouse late Friday night, his face clouded with dejection.

The Blue Jays had just lost a tough 2-0 decision to the Cleveland Indians in the opening game of the American League Championship Series here at Progressive Field and the Toronto second baseman could barely walk.

Travis reinjured his right knee and had to exit the game in the fifth inning.

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"It's a big dagger to us," said Marco Estrada, the Blue Jays starting pitcher. "Luckily, we have a few other guys who can replace him.

"Unfortunately, I guess he wasn't ready to come back. Maybe rushed it a little bit, I don't know. Hopefully it's nothing too serious because we need him."

The way he was moving Friday night it does not appear as if Travis will be ready for any strenuous activity for some time.

"It hurts pretty bad," Travis said, his voice barely above a whisper. "I felt good going into the game. I covered first on that bunt, jarred my knee a little bit. Next play I broke for the ball and went to go to run to first, felt a super-sharp pain in my knee and felt like it was going to give out a bit.

'That was it."

Travis departed what at that point was a still scoreless game, replaced at second base by Ryan Goins.

Goins is a better defender but does not have near the same offensive capabilities as Travis, who led the Blue Jays over the course of the regular season with a .300 batting average.

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"What happens (now) I couldn't tell you," said Toronto manager John Gibbons.

Travis had missed the last two games of the AL Division series against the Texas Rangers when the same knee turned up sore.

He had an MRI and the problem was diagnosed as a deep bone bruise.

After undergoing extensive therapy the past week, the club made the decision on Friday that he was good enough to be added to the 25-man roster for the ALCS, and he got the start at second in the game.

"I felt great, I progressed all week, passed all the tests I needed to pass," Travis said. "Felt good going into the game. Just unfortunate."

It all started to fall apart for Travis when he rushed over to first base to cover a sacrifice bunt laid down by Coco Crisp in the fifth inning.

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"I covered first on that bunt, jarred my knee a little bit," he said. "Next play I broke for the ball and went to go to run to first, felt a super-sharp pain in my knee and felt like it was going to give out a bit. That was it."

Travis said he will undergo another MRI on Saturday to hopefully determine once and for all what is ailing his knee.

The 25-year-old continues to be snake bit by injury during his young career, including a complex shoulder issue that cost him a big chunk of the 2015 season.

"It's tough," he said. "Sometimes you want to go back and you want to ask why. I try not to do that.

"It's unfortunate and I don't know what exactly is going on with me right now to cause all this. I know at the end of the day I got a clubhouse full of guys that have my back. I'll be out there every day I can."

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