The family emergency came to light only two days after Braun was activated from a month-long stint on the disabled list with a right hand injury. He played one game against the Reds, going 1-for-3, then took a planned day off before the Brewers traveled to Phoenix to face the D-backs for the final four games of the first half. The following morning, he informed club officials he needed to head home.
The unexpected trip gave Braun another full week to rest the inflamed nerve in his right hand, but as he prepared for batting practice on Friday, he said the issue remained, "status quo."
"I think that's what we've been told to expect," Braun said. "I'm optimistic that at some point it will start to get better, but we've been told to expect it to be where it's at. As long as 'where it's at' is where I'm able to play, that's all I can really ask for."
Braun was in left field and batting third in Friday's 2-0 win over the Marlins. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout before leaving the game after six innings, part of manager Ron Roenicke's plan to ease Braun back into action.
"It wasn't necessarily six [innings], it was just how the game went," Roenicke said after the game. "We wanted to get three at-bats. … At least right now we're thinking about putting him in there again [on Saturday]."
Of Braun's hand pain, Roenicke said, "It's not gone, but he's better, and hopefully he can swing the way he wants to."
"It does feel good to see him back out there," Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse said of Braun. "It's definitely a presence. He went 0-for-3, but it's the fact that you know at any moment he could put one out of the park. It will be good to get him healthy and back out there on a nightly basis, and watch him go do his thing."
Braun has declined to field questions about the other issue looming over his second half, Major League Baseball's investigation into the Biogenesis anti-aging clinic to which he has been linked.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.