Atlanta Braves’ Jason Heyward returns to spring training with optimism on his back – MLB Update

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Atlanta Braves’ Jason Heyward returns to spring training with optimism on his back – MLB Update
Jason Heyward has returned to the Atlanta Braves’ spring training camp after problems with his back and left groin that he suffered during the workout sessions. He was recently worried about his injuries before Thursday’s Grapefruit League encounter against
the National League East rivals the Washington Nationals.
Heyward was encouraged by the Braves’ medical staff before the game, as there are still some issues over his level of fitness. He was impressive in his outing against the Nationals, as he struck a seventh inning homer that flew its way to the stands above
right field. The hit brought in two runs and put the club on top of the competition, as the work on the field went impressively as well. Heyward did not complained of back pain during the outing.
"I know I'm not as loose as I'm used to being," said Heyward, who had missed the previous five games with back discomfort. "But it didn't bother me. I know it's still there. I'm not 100 percent, but I'm heading in the right direction."
Heyward has been thinking about his back since he was told on Wednesday that his MRI exam from 2009 shows less cartilage between his disks than an ordinary person. The only implication of the finding means he needs to stretch more than usual.
"It's like bone on bone," Heyward said. "That's where the pain is from."
The player looks sharp on his toes and after having 24 at-bats, he is more inclined to start the 2011 Major League Baseball season with some good batting form. 
"I'm not concerned at all about at-bats," Heyward said. "If we had to go today, I'd feel comfortable with where I'm at. It's just a matter of going out there and doing it."
The Braves will put the 21-year-old through the Major League games in hopes of gaining more confidence and building up his match fitness. The Braves will be hoping that Heyward stays healthy and that his back problems are now behind him. It will be interesting
to see how Heyward performs as the regular season is right around the corner.



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