Hart in holding pattern with foot injury

First baseman Corey Hart was absent from the Brewers’ lineup Monday with a left foot injury that is troublesome in terms of its timing, if not its severity.

Hart was hurt when he planted and returned to second base in the fourth inning of Sunday’s extra-inning loss to the Cardinals. He exited that game an inning later and was to be examined by head team physician William Raasch at Miller Park before the Brewers’ series-opener against the Braves.

“Hopefully, it’s nothing,” Hart said. “The best case, they can give me a [cortisone] shot in the foot and I can play the next couple of days later.”

The Brewers initially called the issue a sprained left ankle, but Hart, who has sprained and broken ankles before, said the pain was in his arch. He downplayed the limp with which he walked around the clubhouse.

“All I did was push off to go back to the base, and it felt like I got shot in the foot,” he said.

Hart’s absence was significant because he batted .351 with 20 RBIs over his last 20 games and, as the five-hole hitter, represents a key cog in the National League’s second-best scoring offense.

But there was better news Monday on left fielder Ryan Braun, who exited Sunday’s game an inning after Hart with because of a flare-up of the right wrist injury that has been bothering him for weeks. Braun was back in the lineup on Monday and said he was confident he’d be able to continue playing through the pain.

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