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Jason Heyward takes batting practice for second straight day

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

Braves right fielder Jason Heyward is still recovering from his broken jaw, and he's progressed enough to take batting practice both Friday and Saturday. Here's the visual evidence, thanks to Braves beat writer David O'Brien (click on the picture to view a full-screen version), in which Heyward's faceguard can be pretty clearly seen:

In addition to the helmet flap, Heyward is also wearing a mouthpiece.

Heyward fractured his jaw when a pitch hit him in the face on Aug. 21.

There's still no firm timetable for Heyward's return, but manager Fredi Gonzalez told reporters Saturday (including the Associated Press) that Heyward might be sent to the Braves' instructional league in Florida next week to work his way back. From there, the club is hoping to have Heyward back before the end of the regular season.

Heyward, 24, is hitting .253/.347/.423 with 19 doubles, 13 homers, 37 RBI and 60 runs this season. He was hitting .357/.426/.607 with six doubles and five homers in his last 94 plate appearances before getting hit in the face -- a span that came shortly after his move to the leadoff spot in the order.

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