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McCann strains groin, likely won't miss much time

ATLANTA -- Braves catcher Brian McCann exited Thursday night's 7-1 win over the Phillies in the second inning because of some tightness near his right groin muscle. But early indications are that he could return to action this weekend, or at least by the start of next week's National League Division Series.

"Worst-case scenario is we don't play him for seven days, until that first playoff game," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think he's going to be OK."

Speaking with reporters after the game, McCann said he believed the worst-case scenario would indeed call for him to sit out the final three-regular season games this weekend and be ready for Game 1 of the NLDS on Thursday.

"I'm going to be day to day," McCann said. "I'm going to see how it is tomorrow. I felt like if I needed to sprint or run, I could hurt it real bad. I just caught it before [it got bad]."

The Braves termed McCann's injury as a right adductor strain, which is the same ailment that sidelined B.J. Upton for three weeks after the All-Star break. But early indications are that McCann began treating his ailment soon enough to prevent it from becoming as severe as Upton's.

McCann began feeling some stiffness while catching starting pitcher David Hale in the bullpen before the game. The seven-time All-Star continued to feel discomfort as he struck out during a six-pitch at-bat that included four swings during Atlanta's five-run first inning against Tyler Cloyd.

After catching the second inning, McCann informed Gonzalez of the ailment and then went to the clubhouse to get treatment.

"If you leave him in the game, you take the risk of taking something that is small and making it even worse," Gonzalez said. "I'm glad he came up to me."

Veteran backup Gerald Laird caught the remainder of the game, and he will likely be in the lineup when the Braves face Cliff Lee and the Phillies on Friday night.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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