Braves being careful with Simmons' rehab

Braves being careful with Simmons' rehab

SAN FRANCISCO -- Rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons has been peppering head athletic trainer Jeff Porter with text messages to alert him that he feels like he is ready to progress in his rehab process. But the Braves are continuing to take caution with Simmons, who has been sidelined since July 8 with a fractured right pinkie finger.

The specific location of Simmons' fracture has forced the Braves to wait as long as necessary before clearing him to begin playing Minor League rehab games. Until the bone has completely healed, Simmons risks the possibility of aggravating the injury to a point where he would need another two months of rehab.

Simmons is currently working out with the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves. He has been taking some dry swings, playing catch and hitting in the batting cage.

"It's probably the same time frame we've talked about from the beginning, but he's starting to do some stuff," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

The Braves are hoping Simmons might be ready to play again by the middle of September. But it is still too early for them to project when he might begin playing Minor League rehab games. With the organization's Minor League affiliates set to conclude their seasons Sept. 3, Simmons might get a limited opportunity to play in actual games.

If necessary, Simmons could play in simulated games or take live batting practice against some pitchers who need some work during the early portion of September.