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Despite swelling, Uggla returns to the lineup

PITTSBURGH -- Though he still had some obvious swelling in his right hand, Dan Uggla returned to the Braves' lineup for Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Pirates.

"The swelling went down and the pain level dropped a ton," said Uggla, who missed the first two games of this week's series against the Pirates because of swelling around the first knuckle of his right index finger.

Uggla suffered a laceration when he reached in the ice to grab a beer during the celebration the Braves staged after clinching a playoff berth last week. The veteran second baseman played in five consecutive games with three staples in his hand last week. But because the swelling increased and he was having trouble making a fist on Monday, the Braves opted to rest him for a couple of days.

"Anytime there is swelling like that, there is some concern that it could be infected," Uggla said. "The last thing you want is for the infection to go to the joint or anywhere else. Obviously it makes everybody a little nervous. But that wasn't the case."

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he was expecting Uggla to record two or three at-bats during Wednesday's game against the Pirates.

Uggla does not believe his hand will be a problem when the Braves play the Cardinals in a one-game Wild Card playoff at Turner Field on Friday to determine which team goes to the Division Series.

"Game-time adrenaline, there is no painkiller like it," Uggla said.