Brewers' Braun escapes injury scare
Slugger's X-rays on right thumb negative after early exit
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Brewers fans watching on television back in Wisconsin breathed a sigh of relief late Tuesday when left fielder Ryan Braun escaped another injury scare.Braun, who has been getting treatment for a strained muscle at the back of his rib cage, lost a line drive in the lights in the bottom of the first inning and it struck his right (throwing) hand. He went to a local hospital for X-rays, which were negative.
According to a club spokesperson, it's only a bruise and Braun remains day-to-day. The player wrote in a text message that he was "all good.""It's been an eventful spring," Braun wrote. He missed about three weeks of camp to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic and along the way reaggravated a small muscle at the back of his rib cage. The team was hoping that Braun would pile up at-bats over the final week of Spring Training, but he has been limited to parts of 12 innings in three "A" games over the past week. He played four innings against the Dodgers on March 25 before tightness in his ribs forced him out, then returned after two days in Minor League camp to play six innings against the Mariners on Monday. On Tuesday night, in the first inning of the Brewers' second Spring Training telecast, Braun was in position to catch a line drive off the bat of Padres outfielder Brian Giles when the baseball hung up in the lights. Braun's error helped to turn a 1-2-3 inning for Brewers starter Braden Looper into a two-run San Diego rally. When Braun returned to the dugout, manager Ken Macha asked how he was feeling. The answer was something along the lines of, "It's not any good. I need to go get it taken care of," according to Macha. "The lights are a little low here, and a guy hits a rocket that goes into the lights," Macha said. "There's a chance of injury on every play. There's nothing you can do for that. Just be prepared for the eventuality, that's all." Brewers medical staffers will determine on Wednesday morning whether Braun can return to the lineup to face the Diamondbacks in Milwaukee's next-to-last Cactus League game. On Tuesday, Brad Nelson replaced Braun in left field. "Hopefully, they got it iced up good," Macha said. "But that's a small joint. With a little bit of inflammation, it's going to be tough. It's his top hand, too."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.