|Brian McCann probably won't be able to don those tools of ignorance for opening day. (Getty Images)|
Braves catcher Brian McCann tells David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he's "not close" to being recovered from October shoulder surgery.
While the healing process is generally going as desired, hopes that McCann would be ready for opening day are beginning to fade. As for a more specific timetable, this, as O'Brien writes, is about as specific as it gets right now:
McCann said doctors won't clear him for full-on playing in games until April 15. Until then he'll get plenty of at-bats in minor-league spring training games in a controlled atmosphere, where he won't risk reinjury by sliding, diving or collisions.
McCann, who will turn 29 this month, is coming off a season in which he batted .230/.300/.399, which is well below his customary level of performance. A healthier 2013 (he battled leg and shoulder problems for much of 2012) should yield better results for the six-time All-Star.
Now that accomplished backup David Ross is in Boston, the Braves will certainly need a vintage McCann this season.
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