Freeman aims to reach 'play through pain' point

Freeman aims to reach 'play through pain' point

Freeman aims to reach 'play through pain' point
ATLANTA -- It appeared Freddie Freeman might be in the midst of a special season when he was named the National League's Player of the Week twice within the first five weeks. But the past six weeks have been a nightmare for the Braves first baseman.

"You need hand-eye coordination to play this game and I've lost both of them in the past month and a half," Freeman said.

Once Freeman finally found a solution to cure the vision problems that bothered him through most of May, his left hand was struck by a Jose Reyes throw as he slid toward second base during a June 6 game in Miami. He returned to action two days later and started four of the next five games before missing Wednesday's series finale against the Yankees.

The hope was that Freeman simply needed to rest a couple days. But with swelling remaining around the knuckle of his left index finger on Saturday, the Braves first baseman was still not ready to return to the lineup. He has trouble gripping a baseball bat and feels pain when receiving throws at first base.

"I just think it's best for me to get this healed and to get this swelling out of my joint," Freeman said. "It's a lot better after the past three days I've had off. I was hoping to wake up today and realize it didn't hurt anymore. That's not the case."

Braves hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie was scheduled to evaluate Freeman again on Saturday evening.

"They say it's going to be a lingering thing all year," Freeman said. "I've got to get to a point where I can play through the pain. Right now, it's not to that point yet."