Dansby Swanson still out of Braves lineup, IL stint possible

Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson did not return to the lineup Friday as the team initially planned.

Swanson, who injured his heel on a base Tuesday, was held out of Wednesday’s contest against the Royals. The Braves did it as a precautionary measure and said he was available in an emergency.

But his anticipated return will be delayed, and time on the injured list is a legitimate possibility. The injury is worse than the team thought.

“He’s still a bit sore,” manager Brian Snitker said of Swanson, who was unavailable for comment. “He went out and tried to run around. It just wasn’t going to work. We’ll treat him up and look at him again tomorrow to see what we need to do.”

Snitker acknowledged Swanson’s status as a concern. The team came to the ballpark Friday thinking its shortstop would be ready to play.

Swanson worked with trainer George Poulis before the Braves announced their lineup. They determined his heel needed more time, perhaps extended rest on the 10-day injured list.

If the Braves elect to place Swanson on the IL, Saturday would be a logical time with the team needing to open a spot for left-hander Max Fried’s return.

But losing Swanson for even a short time is a blow. The 25-year-old is in the midst of a breakout season, hitting .265 with 17 homers and 57 RBIs while providing excellent defense. He’s overcome his past wrist issues and begun blossoming into the player the Braves envisioned in their long-term plans.

“It’s a little worse than we anticipated,” Snitker said. “It’s a tough thing to play through. We’ll just keep treating him, see where he’s at tomorrow and make a decision then.”

Johan Camargo was slated to start at shortstop for the Braves’ series opener in Philadelphia. Charlie Culberson can also man shortstop, as he did in last year’s postseason.