Jason Heyward says there's no timetable for his return

Jason Heyward reacts to taking a pitch in the jaw.
Jason Heyward reacts to taking a pitch in the jaw. (USATSI)

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After getting hit by a pitch in the face, Braves outfielder Jason Heyward suffered a broken jaw. Initial estimates pegged him at a four-to-six week timetable, but they were merely that. Estimates.

"I don't have a timetable for you," Heyward said, via Associated Press. "I don't know if it's going to be sooner. I don't know if it's going to be later. I don't know how long it's going to take to heal. But I know as soon as possible I'd like to be playing baseball."

Heyward took the 90 mile-per-hour heater to the jaw last Wednesday. Tuesday, he joined his team for the first time since being hit. Per an AP report, Heyward's jaw was "slightly swollen." He'll be re-evaluated by a specialist on Thursday.

Heyward is considering wearing a guard on his helmet upon his return in order to protect his jaw.

"I have to be smart and understand that it's a broken jaw," Heyward said (AP). "It's not just a broken finger or anything like that. So if I do get hit again, if I don't let it heal, that's my mistake. But you have to be smart about it. I want to start the timetable of playing again as soon as possible. I'll just have to wait and see what the doctor says."

Losing Heyward was a big blow for the Braves, as he was on fire at the plate, hitting .357/.426/.607 with six doubles and five homers in his last 94 plate appearances -- a span that came shortly after his move to the leadoff spot in the order.

It's been a rough season in terms of freak injuries for Heyward, as he also missed 22 games in April and May after needing an emergency appendectomy.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Snyder has been a baseball writer with CBS Sports since 2011. A member of the BBWAA, he's now covered ever World Series since 2010. The former Indiana University baseball player now lives on the north... Full Bio

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