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Brian McCann unlikely to be ready by Opening Day

Feb 7, 2013, 4:46 PM EDT

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Less than a month ago Braves catcher Brian McCann said he was optimistic about being ready to return from shoulder surgery by Opening Day, but apparently that optimism has vanished.

“I’m not close,” McCann told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “Just started hitting off a tee. I started throwing last week, from 45 feet. Sixty feet this week. I’ve thrown a total of six times. Next week hopefully at 90 feet, and just go from there. I’ve got to build my arm strength back up.”

So what’s the new timetable? Well, he hasn’t officially been ruled out for Opening Day, but O’Brien writes that “doctors won’t clear him for full-on playing in games until April 15.” Which seems to suggest the new “optimistic” return date is probably late April and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if McCann doesn’t play at all during the season’s first month.

  1. bigharold - Feb 7, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    So he’s not in the best shape of his life?

  2. historiophiliac - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    Enjoy your time with Laird! lmao

  3. ame123 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Braves are the most overhyped team of this postseason. I would argue they are weaker going in than last season with the losses of Jones, Bourn and Prado. And now they’ll have Laird for a month as their starting catcher. Letting Ross go was stupid.

    • hockeyfan28 - Feb 8, 2013 at 10:31 AM

      You do realize the braves have one of the top catching projects in baseball in Christian Bethancourt and he was going to take Mccann’s job eventually

  4. ame123 - Feb 7, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Braves are the most overhyped team of this offseason. I would argue they are weaker going in than last season with the losses of Jones, Bourn and Prado. And now they’ll have Laird for a month as their starting catcher. Letting Ross go was stupid.

    • atlrod - Feb 7, 2013 at 9:47 PM

      They didn’t “let Ross go.” Not because they decided they didn’t want him. They just couldn’t pay the same amount of money for a 35-year-old back-up catcher as the Red Sox could. I’ll take Upton/Upton/(mystery 3B) over the three you mentioned, thanks. They may be a different team. Maybe equally good to last year. I can’t see them being worse, unless the pitching tanks. Which is certainly possible.

  5. crawdaddybob - Feb 7, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    I’d say the hype is warranted based on the big offseason they’ve had; for a typically conservative, and broke, front office they have been very aggressive! As I Braves fan, I am exited about that. It should be fun to watch!

    Are they better? Maybe, maybe not. As the previous post says, they lost some key pieces. Losing Bourne and Prado, and replacing them with the Upton brothers I think is a very good trade-off; however, Prado will be sorely missed! However, I do disagree that letting Ross go was “stupid”. He was another huge loss but they made the right decision; they wanted to keep him but they weren’t going to drastically overpay for his services! Boston was willing to do that do off to Boston he went.

    Finally, McCann. Going into the offseason it was expected he would miss the first month of the 2013 season. I think we got a little out over or skis thinking he may be ready for opening day. That fact that we’re back to the original timetable doesn’t mean it’s time to panic; I think they’ll pull through just fine. At least I hope!

  6. lazlosother - Feb 7, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Injuries suck. McCann has been one of the better catchers out there for a good 5-6 years. I hope he can come all the way back

  7. atlsportingreports - Feb 9, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Reblogged this on atlsportingreports.

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