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Despite recovery, Braun likely out until All-Star break

PITTSBURGH -- Brewers slugger Ryan Braun had a good day in the training room on Saturday -- "Probably the best day he has had, as far as one day to the other, so that's encouraging," manager Ron Roenicke said -- but he is not expected to swing a bat again until Tuesday and, barring an unexpected breakthrough, he will remain sidelined until after the All-Star break.

Braun is on the disabled list because of an irritated nerve between his right thumb and index finger. He went to the disabled list for the first time in his career after a visit with specialist Don Sheridan, who recommended a long period of rest.

"The date he said we should target is pretty far in the future," Braun said. "I certainly hope that I'm back before that date, but a nerve is unlike a muscle or a bone or a tendon or a ligament where there is a specific amount of time, where you know what you're dealing with. There's not a whole lot you can do except rest."

Braun declined to specify that mystery target date, but a source said it was after the July 15-18 All-Star break. Braun will miss that event for the first time since 2007, when he did not debut in the Major Leagues until late May.

Sheridan recommended waiting until Braun's hand was very close to 100 percent before attempting to swing a bat, lest the nerve becomes a nagging issue that bothers Braun through the rest of his career. He has been taking swings about once a week to gauge his progress.

"I don't like timetables with injuries," Braun said. "It's like with Corey [Hart], you can't set a date because you just don't know."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy.
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