Thursday, August 22, 2013
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New York Mets catcher John Buck grabs Atlanta Braves Jason Heyward (R) after Heyward was hit by a pitch in the head during the sixth inning of their MLB National League baseball game at CitiField in New York on August 21, 2013. (Adam Hunger/REUTERS)
ATLANTA — Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward had surgery Thursday, a day after being hit in the jaw with a pitch.
Heyward had two plates surgically placed in his fractured jaw by Dr. Glenn Maron in Atlanta, the Braves announced. He is expected to miss four to six weeks, but could be out the rest of the season.
Heyward was hit on the right side of his jaw by a pitch from New York Mets left-hander Jonathan Niese. Heyward, who bats left handed, was taken to a hospital, where tests revealed two fractures.
Heyward was batting in the sixth inning when a 90 mph pitch from Niese came up and in and appeared to strike him below the ear flap on his helmet. He took a step and fell to the dirt at home plate.
After remaining down for several minutes, Heyward was helped up and he left the field slowly. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Heyward, who was bleeding from the mouth, never lost consciousness.
The pitch appeared to be unintentional. Niese showed his concern and made a gesture toward Heyward as he was leaving the field.
Heyward is batting .254 with 13 homers and 37 RBI this season.
The Braves expect to use Jordan Schafer and Joey Terdoslavich to fill in for Heyward, but B.J. Upton might also get increased playing time.