HOUSTON -- A second opinion of Ryan Braun's painful right hand injury confirmed the original diagnosis, but raised the likelihood of a much longer stint on the disabled list to allow it to heal.
The hope when Braun was placed on the 15-day DL for the first time in his career was that it would be a minimum stay, making him eligible as early as Tuesday against the Cubs at Miller Park. That remains an outside possibility, but the more likely scenario after Braun's visit with hand specialist Don Sheridan in Phoenix has him taking more time -- as long as a month -- to allow healing time for a bruise and an inflamed nerve near his right thumb.
Braun was reluctant to share the precise plan he was discussing with club officials, but he did say the recommendation was merely rest, and that some sort of surgical fix would not be necessary.
"It was nothing that we didn't expect," Braun said. "What's kind of nice is we get some clarity, at least. We have a better idea of, confirmation of what we're dealing with."
Braun played for several weeks with pain, but lost his power, going homerless in his final 65 plate appearances before exiting a June 9 game against the Phillies. The Brewers held Braun out of the subsequent three-game series in Miami, hoping rest would correct the issue, and when it did not, the club opted to place him on the DL.
In the ensuing days, Braun continued to take swings to keep his hands and arms loose and in shape. After visiting with Sheridan, the decision was made to shut down completely, Braun said.
"We'll see what happens at the end of this DL, and it sounds like he's going to have to swing and see how it feels and see if we can cushion it enough to when he goes out there, we don't go back to where he was when we went on the DL," manager Ron Roenicke said.
Asked about the prospect of a longer stay on the DL, Roenicke said, "I can't answer that until he really starts swinging and we see what's going on. … I know he told me what [Sheridan] thought, and it could be longer, but we'll have to see."