Jose Bautista may have made it back into the Blue Jays lineup but it looks like it's going to be a while before you see the return of third baseman Brett Lawrie or left-handed pitcher Ricky Romero.

Both players are back in Dunedin -- Lawrie with a left rib injury and Romero working on his mechanics. Neither player is ready to get back into a game and there is no timetable for their return.

"I talked to Ricky two days ago," manager John Gibbons reported. "He said he's feeling better but he isn't sure when he's getting into a game. He liked the way things are going."

Romero, under the watchful eye of Dane Johnson, is working on his delivery, trying to land properly and square up to the plate. The revamped delivery is intended to prevent him from throwing across his body to the same degree and allow him to throw more strikes. He hasn't pitched in a game since the last week of spring training.

Lawrie, meanwhile, has been out since he injured his ribs March 5.

"Brett is taking ground balls, running, throwing," Gibbons said. "He's starting to swing the bat a little more."

Is the club surprised at how long it has taken Lawrie to get back, given that at one point they thought there was a chance he would be able to be ready by opening day?

"When it first happened and came back to Dunedin, we thought we could get him ready for opening day," Gibbons said. "That was stretching it a little bit. After that I don't know if it was a surprise but I think that maybe we just came to our senses. That's probably what happened. We thought we better back off a little bit, that we need him for the long haul."

The Jays clearly have missed Lawrie on both sides of the ball -- at the plate and in the field.

"In the long run he's got a chance to be one of the better players in the game," Gibbons said. "Defensively, he's as good as anybody down there with his range. He can do a lot of things. He's our guy. I think it (Lawrie being back) would give us a shot in the arm no doubt.

"He's one of those guys that strikes fear in you. He can beat you a lot of different ways."