SAN DIEGO -- Martin Prado received some encouraging news Friday when Braves doctors evaluated him and cleared him to begin swinging off of a tee. This marked the first time he was allowed to begin participating in baseball-related activities since being diagnosed with a staph infection on June 9.
When Dr. Gary Lourie evaluated Prado at Turner Field Friday, he saw the open wound on Prado's right calf had significantly grown smaller. After cleaning the area and changing the dressing around the wound, he cleared Prado to begin taking swings.
Prado will hit off a tee again Sunday. Earlier this week he was cleared to attempt to start rebuilding his upper body strength with weight training. While sidelined over the past three weeks, the Braves left fielder has visibly lost some weight.
While it still seems too early pinpoint an exact return date, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the club's medical staff told him Prado could return before the All-Star break. The wound will likely have to completely close before he is cleared to begin doing on-field baseball activities.
The Braves' medical staff was treating a cut on the top of Prado's left knee in the days before he showed them the area on his left calf that they immediately diagnosed as a staph infection.