It’s become a bit of a running joke.

Before every game, a horde of reporters make their way into the office of Blue Jays manager John Gibbons and ask him about the status of injured outfielder Colby Rasmus, who has been out since May 13 with a right hamstring injury.

Up until Thursday afternoon at Comerica Park in Detroit, Gibbons would laugh and pretend that he had no idea how his starting centre fielder was faring or when he would start a rehab assignment. That changed prior to Thursday’s game in Detroit, when Gibbons acknowledged that Rasmus took some batting practice and ran the bases in Florida and will hopefully get into some games next week.

But one thing’s for certain — though nobody in the organization has actually come out and said this — there’s no dying sense of urgency to get Rasmus back. The Jays have gone 18-4 since the Columbus, Ga., native went down and his fill-in at centrefield, Anthony Gose, has done a decent job at the plate, batting .237, but reaching base safely in 14 of his 18 starts and has been exceptional late in games and in close games, and just overall looks more comfortable on the bases with his blazing speed. He has also been nothing short of dynamite defensively in centre.

The other young outfielder with the Jays, Kevin Pillar, isn’t playing as much as Gose, but has certainly played well when called upon, hitting .250 and going 7-for-16 in his past five starts and like Gose, playing exceptional defence. Gose and Pillar are 23 and 25 years of age, respectively. The Jays are now comfortable with either in the outfield and, generally speaking, at the plate.

“They’ve done a great job, they really have,” Gibbons said. “And they’ve sparked us in a lot of ways, just some good at-bats, really good defence, doing some things on the bases.”

Both outfielders played winter ball and worked on their respective games and just seem more comfortable in the bigs this year. They’re more relaxed, having gone through the call-up process last season.