Braves slugger Freeman ‘ahead of schedule’ in rehab

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has been out since suffering a left wrist fracture during a game on May 17. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com
Caption
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman has been out since suffering a left wrist fracture during a game on May 17. Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com

Credit: Curtis Compton

Credit: Curtis Compton

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said he’s targeting a return from the disabled list for a series at the Nationals that begins July 6 in Washington.

If Freeman returns for the Nationals series, that would be three weeks earlier than the rehabilitation schedule the Braves announced when they placed him on the disabled list. Freeman has been out since fracturing his left wrist on May 17 when hit with a pitch during an at-bat.

“Everybody knows me and so does the rehab people back there,” Freeman said. “They are going to try to force me to go slow. But I’ve been getting cleared of things the last few days that weren’t supposed to be cleared for a couple of weeks so I’m pretty much ahead of schedule right now. I feel good. My bone doesn’t hurt at all.”

Freeman said team physician Gary Lourie would examine his left wrist on Friday and potentially clear him to begin hitting. Freeman already has begun fielding ground balls with a switch to third base in mind. Freeman said he will travel with the Braves for series at San Diego and Oakland next week.

It’s no surprise that Freeman is proposing an aggressive schedule for his return. He is famously impatient when sitting out with injuries.

But Braves manager Brian Snitker said that after consulting with Andrew Hauser, the team’s director of player health and performance,Snitker also believes it’s a realistic goal for Freeman to return for the July 6 Nationals series.

“If everything goes well I don’t think that’s out of the question,” Snitker said. “I think that’s a distinct possibility.”

Freeman was one of the most productive hitters in the majors at the time of his injury. In 37 games this season he’s hit .341 with a .461 on-base percentage and .748 slugging percentage.

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Braves slugger Freeman offered to move to third base to keep Matt Adams in the lineup at first base, and the Bravss are going to try it. (Video by David O'Brien)

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