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06/13/09 5:43 PM ET

Halladay not headed to disabled list

Jays ace diagnosed with mild right groin strain

TORONTO -- For now, the Blue Jays have no plans to place Roy Halladay on the disabled list. An MRI exam performed on their ace on Saturday confirmed that he suffered a mild right groin strain during his abbreviated start one night earlier.

That being the case, Halladay is considered day-to-day and could be available to pitch as early as June 20, when Toronto will need a starter for the second tilt of a three-game Interleague series on the road against the Nationals. Right-hander Scott Richmond will take Halladay's turn on Wednesday in Philadelphia to give the pitcher a few extra days to rest.

While it is undoubtedly good news for the Blue Jays, manager Cito Gaston isn't ready to let out a complete sigh of relief.

"It sounds good because it's day-to-day instead of month-to-month," Gaston said with a smile. "So, it sounds good. We'll just hope that it is good -- you don't really know. It's a day-to-day thing and he's a guy ... that seems to bounce back quicker than other people. Let's hope that is the case."

The Jays will use the next week to monitor Halladay, who leads the Majors in wins (10) and innings (103) and has a 2.53 ERA in 14 outings. If the 2003 American League Cy Young Award winner continues to experience discomfort, Toronto will need to find a replacement for the Saturday start and the club could place Halladay on the 15-day DL retroactively, if needed.

Gaston said he was confident that Halladay would not try to unnecessarily pitch through pain.

"Doc works hard, he wants to pitch, but he also is smart, too," Gaston said. "Some guys might've tried to stay out there the other night. He didn't. He knew something was going on. It's better that you're that way than try to play through it sometimes.

"If he feels like he can go, then he's going to be honest about it. He's just not going to go out and try something and set himself back. We don't want that to happen."

On Friday night, Halladay felt a sharp pain during his second pitch to Florida's Jeremy Hermida in the top of the fourth inning in a 7-3 loss for Toronto. Halladay then attempted a warmup pitch in front of Gaston and head trainer George Poulis, but the pitcher exited after still experiencing discomfort. Halladay allowed one run on five hits and had logged 43 pitches before leaving.

Prior to that injury-shortened appearance, Halladay had turned in at least seven innings in his 13 previous starts and was coming off two consecutive complete game performances. Over his last 10 trips up the hill, including's Friday's no-decision, Halladay has gone 7-0 with a 2.07 ERA, 62 strikeouts and nine walks over 74 innings.

Helping matters is the fact that the Blue Jays have scheduled off-days on the next two Mondays -- potentially giving Halladay at least 10 days to recover between starts, if he doesn't pitch Saturday. Even if Halladay tells Gaston that he can pitch against Washington, the manager might be hesitant to run him out to the mound so soon.

"I don't know," Gaston said. "He'd have to convince me he's OK."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.