The Braves made Austin Riley’s assignment to the injured list official Thursday afternoon, with the slugger sustaining a partially torn LCL in his right knee.
Riley will visit with Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Florida, on Monday. The Braves expect further details - whether surgery is required, length of absence - after that meeting.
“We’ll know where we’re at in terms of timeline, treatment once they evaluate him more,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Our doctors want to get their hands on him then get a second opinion from Dr. Andrews.”
The injury occurred while Riley was stretching in the weight room before Tuesday’s game in Minnesota. He was hurt doing the 90-90 hip stretch, a standard exercise in his warm-up routine.
“It’s a freak deal,” Riley said. “The right time, right pressure type of thing. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is.”
Riley said he felt better Thursday and was walking without any issues after showing a limp Wednesday. He met with a team doctor before Thursday’s series opener in Miami.
This injury is unrelated to the sprained PCL that Riley suffered last summer, an injury that stalled him in Triple-A and delayed his major-league debut.
The Braves don’t believe Riley will need surgery as of now, but cautioned that isn’t definite.
“It’s very hard for us to put any kind of timeline on it,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. “But he’s feeling better, the swelling’s gone down, he’s walking around. Those are all good signs. ... We should know more by Monday. We know there’s a tear there. To what degree, that can be debated. So we’ll see how it goes.”
Riley was expected to play Wednesday afternoon but woke up with discomfort in his right knee. Riley described the pain as “swelling, and the discomfort was at a higher grade.” He had an MRI on Wednesday.
“Yesterday I thought it was something really serious,” Riley said. “But today I feel 100 times better. So I have high hopes that it’s nothing too serious.”
Riley has played in 66 games after he made his major league debut May 15. He’s hitting .242 with 17 homers and 45 RBIs, though he’s hit only three home runs in his past 24 games, since June 29. In June and July, Riley hit a combined .200 (34-for-170).
The Braves recalled right-handed pitcher Jeremy Walker from Triple-A Gwinnett to fill Riley’s spot.
Walker made his major league debut July 26. In three appearances, Walker has pitched three innings, allowing one hit and walking three batters and striking out one.
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