Ozzie Albies returns to Braves’ lineup Friday

Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies returned to the lineup Friday in Colorado. Albies resume his place atop the team’s order.

Albies was carried off the field Tuesday after fouling a pitch off his left knee in the Braves’ loss in Los Angeles. X-rays were negative, and Albies was ruled day to day, a best-case scenario after the All-Star seemed to suffer an injury that at the time appeared more serious. He ultimately missed only two games, the Braves’ finale against the Dodgers and their series opener against the Rockies.

“It felt really bad when I hit my knee,” Albies said. “I was feeling dizzy as soon as I stood up. Once I got down, I felt like I was dizzy like I was on a boat. It felt weak immediately. I couldn’t say right away what was going on.”

Albies received treatment the next day and felt significantly better by Wednesday’s start time. He worked out on the field Thursday in Denver, but manager Brian Snitker opted to give him another day of rest. Utilityman Ehire Adrianza handled second base in Albies’ absence.

Albies wore a knee-support sleeve during Friday’s game. Known for his toughness, Albies has missed only four games this season.

“That’s me. I play the game hard every day I’m out there, and I will make sure nothing holds me down,” Albies said. “I will go out there and do my thing. That’s who I am.”

Snitker added: “He is a tough dude, I’ll tell you. He’s hard as nails. He plays through a lot. He’s getting banged up. Seems he’s always fouling something off a place where he doesn’t have any pads. But he’s a tough kid, man. He’s a gamer. He wants to be in there every day. Hopefully (Thursday) was the last game he misses the rest of the year.”

Albies, 24, is hitting .259/.317/.483 with 23 homers and 86 RBIs. He leads the National League with 63 extra-base hits. Albies earned an All-Star nod for the second time in his career in July.

The Braves entered Friday two games ahead of the second-place Phillies in the National League East. A victory Friday would ensure the Braves of at least a split in the four-game series at Coors Field after they defeated the Rockies on Thursday.