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Blue Jays temporarily lose OF, reliever due to injury

Any hopes the Blue Jays had of an injury-free training camp ended Wednesday. Both centerfielder Vernon Wells and reliever Justin Speier are temporarily out of action.

Wells strained his left quad while lifting weights earlier in the week and according to general manager J.P. Ricciardi will require at least two weeks of rest, which puts Wells' participation in the World Baseball Classic in jeopardy.

Wells, who did not show up at the Blue Jays complex yesterday, was expected to split time in centerfield with Ken Griffey Jr. for the U.S. entry.

"It's still not 100 percent ruled out that he's not going to play but I would think with the extent of the injury it's probably unlikely," Ricciardi said.

Speier, meanwhile, felt some discomfort in his middle finger as pitchers threw to hitters for the first time.

Speier tore a tendon in that same finger in September and spent the bulk of his off-season rehabbing.

"The hope is it's something minor like (scar tissue) moving around in there but to be on the safe side we'll have an MRI," Speier said. "I'm hoping it's nothing."

Pitchers threw with hitters in the box for the first time this spring and, for the most part, completely dominated.

Staff ace Roy Halladay snapped a bat in two with his first pitch of the spring. Non-roster catcher Mike Mahoney, the guy left holding half a bat, could only shake his head.

Shortstop Russ Adams didn't enjoy the experience any more.

"It's not fun to see that first time out," he said.

Even hitting coach Mickey Brantleysaw humor in the situation.

"You don't hear a lot of of wood out there, do you?," he said.

- TIMES WIRES

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