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Freeman's cast removed; cleared to play catch

MLB.com @mlbbowman

ATLANTA -- As a heavy rainfall pelted SunTrust Park early Monday evening, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman remained on the field to play catch and to take advantage of the opportunity to partake in a baseball activity.

Freeman is likely still at least a month away from returning from the fractured left wrist he suffered when he was hit by a pitch during a May 17 home game against the Blue Jays. But he had his cast removed Friday and now can begin the rehab process.

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ATLANTA -- As a heavy rainfall pelted SunTrust Park early Monday evening, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman remained on the field to play catch and to take advantage of the opportunity to partake in a baseball activity.

Freeman is likely still at least a month away from returning from the fractured left wrist he suffered when he was hit by a pitch during a May 17 home game against the Blue Jays. But he had his cast removed Friday and now can begin the rehab process.

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"He's doing good. It's just a matter of him going through the different intervals [of rehab]," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They'll keep looking at X-rays to see how the wrist is healing."

Freeman played catch for approximately five minutes under the supervision of team physician Dr. Gary Lourie, who showed some dedication, as he made his evaluation without the benefit of an umbrella. This activity provided indication the wrist had healed enough to at least withstand the impact of the ball hitting the glove hand.

Snitker said he has not seen a timetable that indicates when Freeman will be cleared to begin swinging a bat. When the injury was diagnosed, the Braves announced the first baseman would miss at least 10 weeks. Thus, Freeman is not expected to return to Atlanta's lineup until July's final week.

Johnson nearing return

Micah Johnson is expected to go to the Braves' Spring Training complex next week to extend his rehab and move closer to being cleared to play in games. The veteran utility player has been sidelined since the start of this season due to a fractured left wrist suffered during Spring Training.

After coming to SunTrust Park early Monday afternoon, Johnson displayed some of his progress as he took some soft-toss swings within the indoor batting cages. The Braves haven't announced a timetable for his return, but the indication is he could be a couple weeks away from being cleared to play in rehab games.

"I watched him in the cage, and he was turning it loose," Snitker said.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman