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Freeman's injury not as bad as first thought

MIAMI -- The Braves got some good news on Thursday, learning that Freddie Freeman's finger injury is not as bad as expected.

X-rays on Freeman's left index finger were negative, and the 22-year-old first baseman was relieved to learn that he should be back in the lineup a lot sooner than he anticipated.

"I really don't know how I got out of there without any broken bones, but it's a great feeling," Freeman said. "I went in ready for the worst possible answer, and I came out with the best."

Freeman injured his finger when he was hit in the hand by a Jose Reyes throw in the fourth inning of Wednesday's 2-1 win over the Marlins.

"It's a freak play," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Looking at the video, he did what he's supposed to do. We teach guys when you slide to put your hands up so you won't get stepped on or hurt your fingers."

After leaving the game, Freeman saw video of the play that caused his injury and could not believe that he hurt his hand by doing something designed to prevent a hand injury.

"What a coincidence that my hands were up and I hurt my thumb," Freeman said. "It was one of those plays where my hand was in the wrong spot at the wrong time. I will slide like that again. That's how I slide, and I'm not going to change."

Freeman's index finger is better than he expected, but his left thumb is also sore from being hit.

"I can't bend it yet," Freeman said of his index finger. "It's getting better, but it's pretty swollen. You take a Jose Reyes throw from point blank range and I'm sure it's not going to feel too good the next day."

The first baseman feared he would have to miss a lot of time, but he's hopeful he will be able to return to action in a couple of days.

"In an ideal world, the swelling goes down and I can bend it tomorrow and hopefully get back in there," Freeman said. "But it's probably not going to be tomorrow. I'm going to say day to day, maybe a couple of days."

Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman