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Heyward could be closer to return

The SportsXchange

Outfielder Jason Heyward could rejoin the Atlanta Braves early next week as he continues his recovery from a broken jaw.

Heyward met with doctors on Friday and has another meeting scheduled Monday, reported. At that time, a decision could be made on the next steps in his rehab.

The 24-year-old outfielder was hit in the face by a pitch from Jon Niese of the New York Mets on Aug. 21. He resumed light baseball activitiy last week, including hitting off a tee.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez is taking a wait-and-see approach with Heyward.

"I don't have any expectations," Gonzalez said. "The report was he looked good. There is a chance he'll rejoin us on Monday or Tuesday in Miami. I don't know how much hitting we want him to do. Off the tee is fine, maybe some cardio, but I really don't know."

Gonzalez indicated that Heyward will need to play some rehab games, possibly in the Instructional League, before returning to action with the Braves.

In 95 games this season, Heyward is hitting .253 with 13 home runs and 37 RBIs.

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