Catcher Brian McCann left Thursday’s game with a strained adductor (groin) muscle, but he said afterward he thinks he caught it before it became a serious problem.
McCann is holding out hope he can play before the weekend series with the Phillies is out. Both he and manager Fredi Gonzalez said a worst-case scenario would be to rest for six days, including three days off after the regular season ends Sunday, and be ready for the start of the division series on Oct. 3.
“I’m going to be day to day,” McCann said. “I’ll see how it is tomorrow.”
McCann said he first felt it warming up starter David Hale in the bullpen. He caught each of the first two innings and struck out swinging in his first at-bat. But before taking his second at-bat in the second inning, McCann approached Gonzalez, who inserted Gerald Laird to pinch hit.
“I felt like if I needed to sprint or run that I could hurt it pretty bad, so I just caught it before…” McCann said. “Got some meds and go from there.”
Gonzalez had said he wouldn’t take any chances with players’ health this final week of the regular season and would be watching body language.
“Worst-case scenario we don’t play him, he gets seven days until that first playoff game,” Gonzalez said. “I think he’s going to be OK. I think if you run him or leave him in the game you have a risk of something that is small, making it even worse. I’m glad that he came up to me and we had a chance to speak and we got him out of there.”
Eye on Walden
Braves reliever Jordan Walden hasn’t pitched in a game since Sept. 17 and manager Fredi Gonzalez acknowledged he hasn’t been right physically since returning from a groin injury. Walden has given up five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings over three outings since his return. He’s in danger of not making the postseason roster.
“There were some issues there, and now we’re trying to get him back healthy,” Gonzalez said. “He’s got to prove to us that he’s healthy.”
Walden played some catch on Wednesday and was planning to throw a bullpen session Thursday, Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez said Walden could benefit from the three days’ off at the end of the regular season. The Braves might also send him to instructional league to get an inning or two before making a decision for the division series roster.