Heyward looking at Thursday to make return

Heyward looking at Thursday to make return

ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward returned to Turner Field before a 4-2 loss on Tuesday and was encouraged that his sore right oblique muscle was feeling better than it had the day before. But the 22-year-old right fielder believes the Braves' medical staff will keep him out of the lineup until at least Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Phillies.

"I feel a lot better today, but I'm still not allowed to do anything," said Heyward, who did not appear in the series opener. "I still have a lot of soreness and tenderness. But it feels a lot better pain-wise."

Heyward does not remember suffering the injury while playing the entirety of Sunday's game against the Pirates. But he felt soreness in his right side when he awoke on Monday morning.

Because he was not cleared to participate in Tuesday's batting practice, Heyward is not expecting to be in Wednesday's lineup. But he understands the need to be cautious and guard against aggravating the injury, which could sideline him for a month.

Eric Hinske recorded his first four-hit game since 2004 while filling Heyward's void in right field on Monday night. With the Phillies starting left-hander Cole Hamels on Tuesday night, the Braves utilized Matt Diaz in right field. Diaz went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and a nice catch in right field.