Walden hopeful to return soon

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez plans to lay off set-up man Jordan Walden for a couple more days while he rests his sore right hand, but the Braves know they avoided a much more serious problem after he was hit by a line drive on Saturday night.

X-rays taken on Walden’s pitching hand after the game were negative; now it’s just a matter of getting the swelling down.

“It’s just a bruise,” said Walden, whose hand is swollen at the base of his palm near his thumb. “It’s calmed down a lot today. Once this goes down, I’ll be good. Hopefully a couple of days.”

Walden is the primary right-handed set-up man to Craig Kimbrel. He gave up the losing run on a wild pitch in a 1-0 loss Saturday night, but overall has a 1.35 ERA over his past 29 outings, with 31 strikeouts in 26 2/3 innings.