Mallex has broken thumb checked to determine if surgery recommended

Mallex Smith was to have his broken left thumb re-examined by a Braves specialist Friday and find out soon after whether surgery was recommended or if the injury could heal sufficiently without the outfielder needing to go under the knife.

The speedy rookie was hurt when hit by a fastball thrown by Mets left-hander Anthony Bastardo in a June 19 game at New York.

Expected to be on the disabled list for about eight to 10 weeks, Smith took most of a week off after the injury, per doctor’s orders. But he’s been running and working out this past week at Turner Field while wearing a cast that covers most of his lower arm, hand and thumb.

Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said that while surgery was still an option, “I think he told me it looked good enough (after the first checkup) that they might just put his (new) cast on today.”

Smith’s rehab process would be shorter if he doesn’t require surgery than it would be if he needed to have a procedure to stabilize the bone.

He hit .272 with a .778 OPS in his last 42 games before the injury, and led the Braves with 14 stolen bases and a .349 average with runners in scoring position.