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Simmons to have MRI on right thumb Monday

Shortstop is expected to miss at least a few days; hopes to avoid going on DL

PHILADELPHIA -- Andrelton Simmons felt fortunate that he did not fracture his right thumb during Saturday night's 12-2 loss to the Phillies. But the significance of the Braves shortstop's injury will not be known until he undergoes an MRI exam on Monday in Atlanta.

"Our medical people are calling it a sprain," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. " There is no timetable. We're on top of it. We'll get him some ice and treatment and see how quickly we can get him back on the field."

After the game, Simmons' right hand was partially wrapped as he made his way back toward the visitors' clubhouse after undergoing the X-ray exam that revealed no fracture to his right thumb.

But Simmons was still feeling some soreness when he returned to Citizens Bank Park with his swollen right thumb still wrapped on Sunday morning. He will certainly be sidelined for a few days, but there is still a chance that the MRI exam will show ligament damage that could require a stint on the disabled list.

Though a diagnosis will not be made until Simmons meets with Dr. Gary Laurie on Monday, Braves head athletic trainer Jeff Porter was at least encouraged after conducting some strength tests on Simmons' thumb Sunday morning.

"I'm hoping, but I'm always a glass half-full kind of guy," Gonzalez said when asked if Simmons will avoid a disabled list stint.

Simmons suffered the injury when he dove for the two-out single Odubel Herrera hit to shallow left field during the seventh inning. After just missing what would have been an incredible catch, the Gold Glove shortstop grabbed the baseball, winced and then handed the ball to Eury Perez to throw back to the infield. He did not return to the field during the eighth inning.

"It could have been worse, but it is still a little sore and there's still some swelling," Simmons said. "So, we've got to wait and see."

The Braves plan to use rookie Daniel Castro as their shortstop in Simmons' absence. Though he is regarded as a strong defender, Castro entered Sunday with six at-bats at the Major League level.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for Listen to his podcast.
Read More: Atlanta Braves, Andrelton Simmons