Braves right fielder Jason Heyward took his first swings Sunday since receiving cortisone injections in his right shoulder and came away thinking he’d be ready to return to the lineup by Tuesday, the last game of a two-game series against the Astros.
Heyward originally thought he might be back in the lineup Monday against the Astros, but he wants Monday afternoon to test his shoulder in a full session of batting practice.
Heyward took 30-40 swings of a tee Sunday in the Braves indoor batting cages.
“It feels a lot better,” he said.
He’s had no problems throwing – the injury is to his non-throwing right shoulder – and entered Saturday’s game as a defensive substitution. Heyward said if he comes in on defense and needed to bat on Sunday, he could.
“If I do happen to get an at-bat, if that’s the way it works out, I’ll work something out,” said Heyward.
If all continues to progress Heyward thinks he could be available to pinch hit in Monday’s game before returning to the lineup Tuesday.
Just like a thumb injury cost him a chance to start in the All-Star game last year as a rookie, Heyward is disappointed he won’t be starting in Sunday’s Civil Rights game which the Braves are hosting for the first time of a two-year rotation.
“That’s right up there with not being in the All-Star game,” said Heyward, who attended Saturday night’s Beacon Awards dinner. “It stinks. I hate it, but like anyone would tell me, I have to remind myself, it’s one game, and you’ve got to get yourself right and shouldn’t rush coming back from an injury.”