By Matt Snyder
Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson returned to the field Sunday in Florida, marking the first time he's suited up since suffering a concussion in a car accident Monday. Hanson ran and played catch (AJC.com), but what he did wasn't near as important as the next step.
Either Monday or Tuesday, Hanson will take an ImPact concussion test, and if he passes it, the Braves are targeting Thursday to get Hanson back on the mound. Hanson took the ImPact test Thursday, but his results reportedly weren't all the way back to normal, so he hasn't been able to get back on the hill yet.
The right-hander, who may very well be the Braves opening-day starter if he's ready, says he isn't worried about falling behind.
“After I start throwing for a couple of days, I think I’ll be back where I would have been last week," he said (AJC.com). "Most of the time at the end of spring training, that last week is kind of extra anyway. So I don’t think it’ll be a problem. I feel like I’ll be ready.”
Hanson, 25, was 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 142 strikeouts in 130 innings last season. A balky shoulder prevented him from making a start after August 6.
The Braves need Hanson to get well soon. With Tim Hudson set to miss about a month of the season, only Jair Jurrjens, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor are completely healthy from the planned starting rotation. Kris Medlan along with prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado would be in the mix to pick up any slack needed.
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