While visiting Dr. Gary Laurie on Tuesday morning in Atlanta, Schafer learned that X-rays showed that he has developed a spur under the bone bruise that he's battled in his left wrist most of this season. Based on the results of the MRI exam, the Braves will determine whether he should have this ailment alleviated via surgery or anti-inflammatory injections.
"Surgery is clearly an option, but we're not to that point yet," said Braves general manager Frank Wren, while adding that this is a common problem experienced by golfers and some offensive baseball players.
After experiencing more left-wrist discomfort once he started taking some swings during regular batting practice on Monday, Schafer was forced to make a return visit to see Laurie, who has diagnosed him with a bone bruise on two previous occasions this year.
While keeping his wrist immobilized for a month with a cast that was removed on Aug. 13, Schafer was hopeful to avoid a surgical procedure that he's said could require three months of recovery. If this proves to be true, he'd have limited time to play winter ball and make up for the fact that he's totaled just 399 at-bats over the course of the past two years.
Schafer, who was sidelined with a 50-game suspension during the 2008 season, began this season as Atlanta's starting center fielder. After hitting just .204 and striking out 63 times in the first 50 games of his Major League career, the 22-year-old center fielder was sent to Triple-A Gwinnett.
After playing just three games for Gwinnett, he was sidelined with the same left-wrist discomfort that had plagued him since he swung and missed a pitch during Atlanta's April 10 home opener.
Schafer returned to Gwinnett's lineup on June 27 and played just six games before he felt discomfort once again while swinging. At this point, the former top prospect was placed in a cast.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.