Turner Missing in Action; What's the Deal?

After being sidelined early in spring training with tendonitis in his shoulder, Jacob Turner was expected to be sidelined a week or so before returning to action. That week has slowly turned into a month, as Turner has yet to return to the mound in game action. Could his disappearing act be the sign of a larger problem? *UPDATED*

It's a question worth asking. Jacob Turner was initially expected to be out about a week when it was announced on March 14th that he'd be sidelined with tendonitis in his shoulder. Tigers manager Jim Leyland tried to put him out of the media members' minds in addition to their sight, wrote him out of the rotation battle, and the questions ceased.

But Turner never returned to spring training action.

When minor league rosters were announced, he was assigned to the active roster for High-A Lakeland. It was then hinted that he would just be sticking back for a bit in Lakeland, making a start there, and then when Drew Smyly was called up to Detroit, would make the move to Toledo to take that roster spot.

However, two weeks into the season, and Turner has yet to make a single appearance for the Flying Tigers, though he remains on the active roster. No members of the organization would comment on his status publicly, and requests to interview him had been denied.

Through various sources, TigsTown has learned that Turner has been active and pitching, but exclusively on the back fields and during batting practice in Lakeland as he continues to "work his way back" from shoulder problems.

Statements were also made that Turner should be close to returning to live action, however, that is also vague enough that there's no date, and there was also no mention of how he's feeling, or how his velocity is coming along.

So, for now, the Tigers most prized arm continues to get work in down in Lakeland. However, the longer he's out, the greater the concern will be that there's something more seriously wrong.

UPDATE: John Wagner of the Toledo Blade reported late Wednesday night that Turner's "should be close" date is in fact set, and that he'll start for Lakeland on Monday against Daytona at 7:05PM. There is no official date yet from the club, however.

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