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Walden nursing hand injured in Saturday's loss

ATLANTA -- Braves reliever Jordan Walden was still unsure of how much time he would need to return to 100 percent, after taking a line drive off his right hand in Saturday night's 1-0 loss to the Marlins. X-rays were negative on the hand, but Walden had wrapped it in a bandage as he prepared to meet with team doctors on Sunday.

"I haven't looked at it yet," Walden said. "It's a little stiff."

The 25-year-old right-hander sustained the injury when Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison hit a line drive back to the mound in the ninth inning. Although he was able to recover and get the ball to first for the second out, Walden said the throw was a light two-fingered toss to help lessen the pain in his throwing hand. He was replaced by Anthony Varvaro before the next batter, but was saddled with his second loss of the season.

While Walden has excelled in eighth-inning relief appearances, compiling a 2.31 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings of work this season, his ERA is a more pedestrian 4.50 in 10 appearances from the ninth inning onward. He endured an up-and-down pair of ninth-inning outings during the team's 14-game winning streak -- allowing the game-tying run on July 29 against the Rockies for his first blown save of the year before shutting down the Nationals in the ninth on Aug. 5 for his first save this season.

Eric Single is an associate reporter for
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