Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann could be out through April as he continues to slowly recover from shoulder surgery.
After having surgery in mid-October, he was expected to be back by April 16 -- exactly six months after the operation. However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Saturday that McCann will not be able to start a minor league rehab assignment until at least that date, meaning he could miss the first month of the season.
McCann, 29, batted .230 last year with 20 home runs and 67 RBI in 439 at bats. He is a career .279 hitter in eight major league seasons, all with the Braves.
Gerald Laird will serve as the regular catcher in McCann's absence.