ATLANTA -- The Braves expect one of their most trusted eighth-inning weapons back by the start of this weekend's series against the Nationals. Right-hander Jordan Walden played catch on Tuesday for the first time since taking a line drive off the base of his thumb during Saturday night's 1-0 loss to the Marlins, and two more days without any setbacks should put him back in the bullpen by Friday night.
"I played catch yesterday but I could still feel it in my thumb," Walden said on Wednesday. "It's just a bruise, but it's still sore."
In Walden's absence, right-hander David Carpenter worked a scoreless eighth inning on Tuesday night to preserve a two-run lead in the Braves' 3-1 win after Kris Medlen walked the leadoff hitter.
"We'll see where he's at today, but he's progressing real well," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I wouldn't be surprised if he's available the whole weekend."
Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.