An MRI concluded Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson has a partially torn ligament in his left hand. He’ll remain in Atlanta for treatment through the remainder of the regular season, then be re-evaluated before the National League Division Series, which begins Oct. 4.
Swanson exited in the second inning Tuesday after flying out in the Braves’ 7-3 win over the Mets. He experienced soreness in his left hand unrelated to the wrist inflammation that bothered him earlier in the season.
This injury was more on the top of his left hand rather than his wrist. Swanson was placed on the disabled list in early May and rested his wrist for two weeks.
“We’ll know more in a couple days,” manager Brian Snitker said after Wednesday’s game. “It sounded like a situation that we’ll know better where he’s at in a couple days once they treat him up and see. Dansby’s going to try like hell to get back, I know that.
“But I think right now, because it’s fresh, we need to wait a couple days. ... I think we’ll be able to tell more toward the end of the week.”
The team wanted him to visit with its doctors in Atlanta, including renown hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie. Swanson was delayed getting out of New York because of the United Nations General Assembly that’s further congested the area.
Snitker believed Swanson was meeting with doctors during his pregame media interview Wednesday, around 5 p.m. It wasn’t surprising the team sent him home. They weren’t going to rush him back for the last week of the season after already securing a postseason spot.
“A lot of times the player gets checked out and is reassured it’s nothing really bad,” Snitker said. “That relieves a lot of their worries also. But it’s your hand. That’s a big deal in this game. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
He received an X-ray at Citi Field, but that didn’t provide any clarity. It also was in all parties’ interest for him to see the team doctors. Swanson had been sore before and healed within a couple of days, Snitker said, referencing a thought from trainer George Poulis.
The team announced Swanson wouldn’t rejoin the club on its road trip, instead staying in Atlanta for treatment while the Braves finish their regular season in New York and Philadelphia.
Players can play through ligament damage, and the initial belief is Swanson would be OK for the postseason.
“It sounds like it’s just something to rest,” Snitker said. “If you play through it, it’s just one of those things you have to play through. So hopefully it’s not something more than that.”
Utility-extraordinaire Charlie Culberson will serve as the interim shortstop. It’s actually what Culberson considers his natural position. And he’s certainly no stranger to stepping into big spots as a shortstop after filling in for Corey Seager during the Dodgers’ 2017 postseason run.
“Hopefully he’s in good spirits,” Culberson said of Swanson. “The whole team here is rooting for him. Hopefully nothing’s wrong and we get him back soon.”
Swanson has slashed .238/.304/.395 with 25 doubles, 14 homers and 59 RBIs across 136 games. He’s been arguably the Braves’ best defensive player and could be a Gold Glove finalist.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.