Injury knocks Heyward out of Fall League

A lower-back strain for Braves outfield prospect Jason Heyward has ended his Arizona Fall League season after just four games.

Heyward, 20, was examined Tuesday by Dr. Marvin Royster, who diagnosed back inflammation that was radiating to Heyward's  gluteus.  He will undergo treatment, rest for a few weeks and  not return to the fall league, which runs through mid-November.

The Braves don't believe it will affect the former Henry County High School star in his preparations for spring training and the 2010 season.

Heyward, recently named Baseball America's Minor League  Player of the Year, will  be invited to his second major league spring training in February and this time the Braves say he will compete for a major league job. However, he's played only 50 games above Class A and might end up starting the season at Class AAA Gwinnett.

Heyward was limited to just four games in Arizona, going 4-for-14 with three doubles. The Braves initially thought he would miss a few games with what was at first called a strained gluteus, but when the discomfort lingered beyond a week, he returned to Atlanta.

Heyward hit a combined .323 with 17 homers, 63 RBIs and a .408 on-base percentage for three Braves minor league affiliates in 2009, finishing the season with three games at Gwinnett. He played only 99 games because of injuries to a hip flexor and his right heel.