Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward is making progress in his recovery from multiple jaw fractures after he was hit in the face by a fastball last month.
Heyward told reporters before Tuesday night's Braves-New York Mets game that his oral surgeon cleared him to start playing catch and to hit off a tee. On Aug. 21, Heyward was hit by a pitch from New York's Jonathan Niese and had surgery on the jaw the next day.
The 24-year-old Heyward had said previously that he was aiming for a return in the postseason, but there might be some optimism now that he could play before the end of the regular season.
"I was excited to get the process started," Heyward said. "It happened sooner that I would have expected."
Before Tuesday's game, Heyward took some swings in the indoor cage and played catch with Braves outfielder B.J. Upton.
In 95 games this season, Heyward is hitting .253 with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs.