The Braves’ Austin Riley got good news from an appointment with noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Monday: Riley’s injured knee won’t require surgery, and he could return to action in about two weeks.
“It was real good word,” Riley said Tuesday.
Riley injured his right knee in the weight room early last week and was placed on the injured list. Andrews confirmed the diagnosis of a partially torn ligament, but found the knee to be stable and strong, Riley said.
“His thought process was if we were in (a playoff) tomorrow I could play, but just to be on the safe side we’re going to take things a little slow,” Riley said. “I swung 10 swings off the tee (Tuesday), threw a little bit. It’s feeling great.”
If things continue to go well, Riley expects to take full batting practice next week and then play some minor-league rehabilitation games before rejoining the Braves. He will wear a knee brace during games as a precaution.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said the medical report on Riley was “very encouraging, especially as good as he’s feeling right now. “
“Surgery probably (would have ended) his year,” Snitker said, “and he can get back and hopefully help us out.”
Riley, 22, is hitting .242 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs in 66 games with the Braves this season. He joined the team from Triple-A Gwinnett on May 15 and hit nine home runs in his first 18 games and 16 in his first 48. But he has homered once since July 6 and at least temporarily lost his hold on the starting left-field job amid the slump.