Schafer to be activated Saturday, Constanza optioned

The Braves will activate outfielder Jordan Schafer from the disabled list before Saturday’s game, and catcher Gerald Laird probably won’t be far behind.

Laird, recovering from a kidney-stone removal procedure, and Schafer, who’s missed a month for a stress fracture near his right ankle, each played at Triple-A Gwinnett on Friday. Laird went 0-for-3 in the first and perhaps only injury-rehab game for the veteran.

Schafer was 2-for-32 with two doubles, one walk and four strikeouts in eight rehab games, including an 0-for-9 in his last two Thursday and Friday. The Braves wanted him to get at least a few more at-bats Friday before bringing him off the DL. Jose Constanza will be optioned to Gwinnett to open a roster spot for Schafer on Saturday.

“This guy’s missed a lot of games,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Schafer Friday. “His timing was a little bit off. But (Thursday) was a lot better than the previous games.”

Left-hander Paul Maholm threw an extended bullpen session Friday, and Gonzalez said they’d wait to see how he felt the day after that session before deciding if he was ready for a rehab start. Maholm is recovering from a left wrist sprain and contusion.

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