ATLANTA -- Michael Bourn does not want to set a specific day for when he expects to return to the Braves' lineup. But the All-Star outfielder has been encouraged with the improvement of his sore left thumb.
Bourn had an MRI exam on his thumb Thursday afternoon, and the Braves announced that it revealed no ligament tear, just a slight sprain. Bourn remains day to day.
Bourn did not rule out the possibility of returning to the lineup as early as Friday. He has missed four straight games because of the thumb ailment he incurred while sliding head first into second base during Saturday's win over the Phillies.
"Once the swelling has gone out of it, it has felt better," Bourn said. "They just did not want me to rush back out there and have any setbacks."
Bourn said the fact the Braves have clinched the top National League Wild Card spot has not influenced the decision to allow him to rest his thumb a few extra days. He said he is still holding out hope his team can catch the Nationals in the NL East. Atlanta trails Washington by four games with six to play.
"It's starting to feel better," Bourn said. "So hopefully in the next couple of days, I'll be ready to go."