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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Braves Injury Update: Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons exit early

By on 9/18/2014 06:15:00 AM

The Atlanta Braves saw two key players leave the field early on Wednesday night, as shortstop Andrelton Simmons and right fielder Jason Heyward both departed after suffering injuries.'s Mark Bowman reports that Heyward was eventually forced out with a swollen left thumb after it was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning, while Simmons came out after the third with a recurrence of the left ankle injury which has bothered him of late.

The good news for Heyward is that X-rays on his thumb were negative, but the right fielder told Bowman that he knows these types of injuries can be difficult to overcome:
"Thumbs [stink], I've dealt with it before," Heyward said. "We'll see what happens. Once swelling is in there, it's tough to get it out."
Heyward stayed in the game until the eighth after being hit but said it became impossible to throw or grip the bat once his thumb became swollen. With an off-day on Thursday, there may be time for the swelling to subside and allow Heyward to play, but the Braves won't know for sure until they see how it responds.

Simmons aggravated his ankle coming out of the box when flying out in the third. Manager Fredi Gonzalez did not say exactly what the problem was, but told Bowman that it was 'more of an Achilles thing' and suggested the shortstop's removal was largely precautionary. Both Heyward and Simmons are considered outstanding defenders at their positions, and Heyward is hitting very well this season, but even if they can play Friday, it's likely to be too late to revive Atlanta's playoff chances, as they really need a huge collapse from the Pirates to have any chance of getting to the wild card game even if they win out.

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