McCann eyes Friday return, but only if ready

McCann eyes Friday return, but only if ready

MIAMI -- While taking batting practice and throwing in the outfield before Monday night's game at Sun Life Stadium, Braves catcher Brian McCann did not feel the discomfort that was present in his left side when he played long toss at Citi Field on Sunday.

Encouraged by the improvement, McCann remains hopeful that he could be activated from the disabled list as early as Friday. But the six-time All-Star and the Braves realize how important it will be to make sure the left oblique muscle he strained July 26 has completely healed.

"I'm going to be smart with it and not do anything that would cause a setback," McCann said. "I'm going to ease into it. I feel like I could go out there now and help this team win. If I can do everything without having a chance to hurt myself, I'm going to get back in there."

McCann is looking forward to seeing how he feels when he takes batting practice, throws and simulates some catching exercises Tuesday. Before Monday, the 27-year-old backstop had not hit outside since suffering the injury. Thus, he was still being cautious with his swings.

"I don't want to have a timetable and then rush myself," McCann said. "I'd like to be back Friday, and I'm going to do everything in my power to do that."

While McCann will need at least a short rehab assignment, there is some concern about him handling the catching duties during a Minor League game and suffering a different injury. There is a possibility he will attempt to condition himself with different catching-related activities this week and simply serve as a designated hitter when playing a Minor League game.