NEW YORK -- After receiving the results of the MRI exam performed Friday on Tommy Hanson's right shoulder, the Braves remained optimistic that he could pitch again this year.

The MRI showed a small undersurface rotator cuff tear. The Braves said this condition is commonly found in pitchers' shoulders and does not need to be repaired surgically. This latest exam also confirmed that his labrum and the remainder of his shoulder appeared to be structurally sound.

Hanson will visit noted surgeon Dr. James Andrews at his Pensacola, Fla., office Monday.

Hanson has been sidelined since Aug. 6, and the season will end Sept. 28. Thus there is a chance the Braves could go through the stretch run without the 24-year-old right-hander.

After performing MRI exams in June and again earlier this month on Hanson's shoulder, the Braves revealed he was dealing with tendinitis. He received a cortisone shot after each exam.

When Hanson was initially diagnosed with tendinitis two months ago, he missed two weeks and felt tightness when he returned to start against the Mariners on June 26. He did not seem to be ailing when he allowed two runs in 14 innings over his next two starts.

But Hanson has posted an 8.10 ERA and allowed opponents a .370 on-base percentage in his five starts since the All-Star break.

Fredi weighs rotation options with extra rest

NEW YORK -- With Hurricane Irene forcing the postponement of the final two games of this weekend's series against the Mets, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez finds himself in the position of having to decide how to align his starting rotation after three consecutive off-days.

After playing Friday night's game against the Mets, the Braves will leave New York ahead of the projected storms and will not play another game until Tuesday, when they host the Nationals at Turner Field.

While some of his players could benefit from extra rest, Gonzalez will have to decide how to keep his starting pitchers from potentially dealing with the adverse effect of getting too much rest between starts.

"You get stuck again like the All-Star break," Gonzalez said. "If you push too many guys too far back, then you get one guy who goes like nine days without pitching."

Jair Jurrjens and Mike Minor were projected to start the final two games of this weekend's series against the Mets.

The Braves have not made any decisions. But they could bring Jurrjens back to start Tuesday's game against the Nationals with three extra days of rest. Derek Lowe could return to the mound Wednesday with two extra days of rest and Tim Hudson could start Thursday with just one extra day of rest.

As he nears the end of his first full season as a starter, Brandon Beachy might benefit from extra rest. He started Thursday and earned his seventh win against the Cubs.

Gonzalez said there is a chance the Minor or Beachy could be optioned to make a Minor League start and then be eligible to return as soon as that team's season concludes. But the Braves will need a fifth starter before each of their Minor League affiliates conclude their respective seasons Sept. 5.