Atlanta Braves' outfielder Jason Heyward will still be sidelined for a few more weeks recovering from a broken jaw. But he received some good news on Tuesday when he was cleared to resume baseball activities, such as playing catch and hitting off of a tee.
As reported by Mark Bowman and Eric Single of MLB.com, Heyward was in uniform as he played catch with his teammates before batting practice before Tuesday night's game
against the Mets. This was the first time he participated in baseball activities since being hit in the jaw by Mets' pitcherr Jon Niese on August 21.
Getting on to the field was a big step for Heyward, who admitted it happened quicker than he had anticipated.
"It felt good for me, my teammates and my coaches," Heyward said. "I was
excited to get the process started. It happened sooner than I would
Heyward was wearing a batting helmet that had a protective face guard attached
to it. The face guard is something he will have to get used to over the next few weeks and he's likely to have to wear that when he returns to game action. There is no timetable to his return, but it's likely the Braves will try to get Heyward into some games before the end of the season and have him fully ready in time for the playoffs.
Heyward set career highs in home runs and runs batted in last season, with 27 and 82, respectively. This season, he has played in 95 games and has only 13 home runs and 37 runs batted in. For his career, Heyward has a .259 batting average, with 72 home runs and 233 RBIs.