Braun not 100 percent, but ‘excited’

Here’s what Ryan Braun had to say about escaping the disabled list today:

“It’s exciting more than it is a relief,” Braun said. “Being on the DL is not something I enjoyed. It definitely made me appreciate the last six years, having never spent time on the DL, because it’s just a lot of long and boring days. I’m excited to be back, excited to be able to compete again and be able to contribute, hopefully, to some better baseball.”

How close is he to 100 percent?

“It’s not close to 100 percent, but we don’t expect it to be close to 100 percent all year,” Braun said. “So as long as it’s good enough, I am thrilled about that.”

Does he worry about doing further damage to his hand by playing with pain?

“I don’t think it would do any good to have a negative mindset like that,” Braun said. “I’m optimistic that we’re in a good place. It’s felt good the last few days, and that’s what I anticipate moving forward.”

Braun’s return was accelerated dramatically beginning Tuesday at Nationals Park, where he swung a bat for the first time in a week and felt much less pain in his hand. He took more dry swings each of the subsequent two days, then took full batting practice for the first time on Saturday at Miller Park.

All of those sessions went well, giving Braun and the Brewers hope that he would beat an earlier timetable that had him sidelined through the All-Star break.

“So far, so good,” said Braun.

The only bad news was that the corresponding portion of the move cost the Brewers their cleanup hitter, Aramis Ramirez, whose production has sagged because of his balky knee.

“It’s been a challenging year for all of us, obviously, health-wise,” Braun said. “But I’m just excited to go back out there and I’m looking forward to competing again. Ultimately, whoever is out there is expected to have success and be able to contribute to winning. Hopefully we start winning some more games.”

Braun said he would offer input, but will defer to Roenicke and the Brewers’ athletic training staff on his workload in the coming days.


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