Found September 14, 2013 on
MLB Injury News:
Friday the 13th proved itself more of a bright day rather than a haunting one for Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward, who is recovering from a broken jaw suffered from getting hit by a pitch on August 21. The Atlanta Journal Constitution's David O'Brien reports that Heyward resumed baseball activities Friday night as he took a full session of batting practice and fielded fly balls in the outfield prior to the Braves' game with the San Diego Padres.
Heyward wore a protective cover over his right jaw while he batted. He reported no issues, and he says that he feels strong and comfortable facing live pitching and getting under those fly balls.
It took some time for Heyward's strength to return due to the braces and rubber bands that he had to wear; they hampered his eating. Once Heyward had them removed, though, he began eating solid food and rebuilding his strength. Manager Fredi Gonzalez commented about it:
"He said he's feeling better. His strength is back. Obviously, when you can start eating solid food, you get your strength back a lot better. I'm just looking forward to see him hit on the field."
Heyward will take more patting practice, and the Braves want to get him back into the lineup against live pitching before the regular season ends. He is hitting .253, 13 HR, 37 RBI in 95 games. He was hitting a red-hot .350 with three home runs in the ten games prior to his injury.
With a magic number of 6, the Braves should clinch the N.L. East during the coming week. However, they are still fighting with the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League's top seed and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Heyward's presence will help them win the top seed. It will also give him a chance to regain his timing before the postseason begins. Look for Heyward to return to the lineup well before the season ends.
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