A second, more advanced MRI on slugger Jason Heyward’s right shoulder showed the same thing as the first MRI: no structural damage.
“Just normal wear-and-tear of a normal major league shoulder, some inflammation,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Heyward has been on the 15-day disabled list since Sunday, and Gonzalez said the Braves would wait for rotator-cuff inflammation to }calm down” before he resumes hitting.
Gonzalez said Heyward could be ready soon after the 15-day DL period, if he has no setbacks.
The right fielder will probably be sent to Orlando for a few extended-spring training games, then play a rehab game or two at Triple-A Gwinnett before he’s activated. In extended-spring games, Heyward could bat in every inning to get more work on his swing.
Heyward left the team Sunday in Anaheim and returned to Atlanta for a dye-contrast MRI, wherein dye is injected to enhance the scan images. He had complained of recurring soreness and crackling sensations in his right (non-throwing) shoulder.
The shoulder has bothered him since spring training, but worsened in mid-May to where it hurt to swing. He had an MRI, missed five starts and received a cortisone shot, then returned to the lineup May 16.
After playing three games, the soreness returned and Heyward was shut down last weekend and placed on the DL.
The 21-year-old standout’s production has declined significantly in his second season. He has batted .214 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and a .317 on-base percentage in 45 games, including an .098 average (4-for-41) with no RBIs and 15 strikeouts in May.