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Freeman expects to return tonight after HBP

First baseman exited with upper right arm contusion
MLB.com @mlbbowman

NEW YORK -- Freddie Freeman's bruised right triceps muscle forced him to exit Wednesday afternoon's 6-2 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, but the Braves' first baseman is confident he'll be back in the starting lineup for Thursday night's series opener in Milwaukee.

"Luckily, it didn't hit my hand," Freeman said. "I'll take the elbow and a little soreness. As long as I have the strength in my arm tomorrow, I can deal with the pain."

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NEW YORK -- Freddie Freeman's bruised right triceps muscle forced him to exit Wednesday afternoon's 6-2 loss to the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, but the Braves' first baseman is confident he'll be back in the starting lineup for Thursday night's series opener in Milwaukee.

"Luckily, it didn't hit my hand," Freeman said. "I'll take the elbow and a little soreness. As long as I have the strength in my arm tomorrow, I can deal with the pain."

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Freeman's upper arm began to tighten immediately after he was struck just above the right elbow by CC Sabathia's 91.4-mph sinker in the third inning. He remained in the game to play defense in the bottom half of the frame, but he was forced to exit when he tried to hit off a tee during the fourth.

"I basically topped the ball off the tee," Freeman said. "I couldn't really extend the arm going through the zone. I had no strength and it just swelled up. It looks like a baseball on my triceps right now. I tried to give it a shot, but just couldn't do it."

Freeman remembers returning to the lineup approximately 12 hours after getting hit in the same area with a pitch during a 2014 series in Houston.

"If you ask him, he's going to say yes," Braves manager Brian Snitker said about Freeman playing on Thursday. "But until we get there and see how it is, we won't know. It was probably good that we got him out of there and started on some treatment."

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

Atlanta Braves, Freddie Freeman