MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers decided early Wednesday to rest left fielder Ryan Braun for the team's important series finale against the Cardinals, rather than risk further injury.
The slugger is expected back in the lineup Friday when the Brewers begin an equally-important three-game series in Cincinnati.
Braun exited Tuesday's win in the seventh inning after aggravating a lingering right groin strain chasing a hit back in the third. Head athletic trainer Dan Wright exchanged messages with Braun early Wednesday morning.
"He still felt it," manager Ron Roenicke said. "So, even though we need him in there against these guys, if he can't do it, with the off-day tomorrow, he should be good to go against Cincinnati."
Braun, the National League leader with 26 home runs, has been dealing with groin and Achilles issues since Spring Training. Wright and his medical crew have managed both ailments, allowing Braun to start 84 of the Brewers' 91 games this season while playing at his usual high level -- a .309 average entering Wednesday, with 65 RBIs and 16 stolen bases.
He had started every game since June 29 before taking Wednesday off.
"It's just so easy to irritate something when it never has a chance to get back to 100 percent," Braun said. "It doesn't make sense to take the chance to make it a lot worse."
Said Roenicke: "I don't think it's anything big."