Vivlamore reporting from Turner Field.
The cast is off but Braves doctors are not about to give Andrelton Simmons a timetable for his return.
“They don’t want to tell me because they know I’m going to rush it,” Simmons told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with a big smile Friday.
The rookie shortstop has been out since July 13th with a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal (pinkie finger) on his right hand. Simmons had a hard cast removed Friday and is now wearing a removable split that will allow him to being rehabilitation. Simmons said he has begun easy range of motion exercises in his wrist and fingers.
“It’s not 100 percent healed yet,” Simmons said. “It’s pretty close where I can start moving around and getting my range of motion back and hopefully in a couple of days it will be completely healed and I can start really squeezing and really get working on my strength.”
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, with complete rehab and a minor-league assignment, it would still be several weeks before Simmons could return to the lineup. That would put a return near the end of August or beginning of September.
In 33 games from his call up on May 31 until the injury, suffered sliding into second base, Simmons hit .296 (34-for-115) with three home runs and 15 RBIs. He was also a steady defensive presence.
- Chris Vivlamore