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Justin Upton scratched with soreness in side

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Justin Upton was scratched from Wednesday's starting lineup when he told Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez that his right side has been sore the past couple of days.

"When they come in on the first day and you ask them and they give you, 'Well, you know,' that's good enough," Gonzalez said. "He's not going to make the trip tomorrow, and we'll still be in February."

Along with missing Wednesday's Grapefruit League opener, Upton will also not play in Thursday afternoon's game against the Tigers in Lakeland. The Braves' left fielder said there is a chance he will be ready to begin playing by Friday.

"It's early, and I'm going to get plenty of at-bats," Upton said. "So there is no reason to push it. We'll see what tomorrow brings and the next day. If I feel better, I am in there."

Upton, who began feeling the soreness earlier this week, gave Gonzalez further reason for comfort when he emerged from the clubhouse to go to the indoor batting cage on Wednesday morning.

"It's not that major, because if it was, he wouldn't be able to swing," Gonzalez said. "It's no big deal."

Upton had been slated to bat fifth and play left field against Detroit on Wednesday. When he was scratched, designated hitter Ryan Doumit was moved up to the lineup's fifth spot and Jordan Schafer was inserted as the left fielder.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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