Atlanta, GA, United States (4E Sports) – Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward underwent successful surgery to repair a broken jaw, the team announced Thursday.
The Braves announced Heyward had two plates inserted in his jaw during a surgical procedure performed by Dr. Glen Maron in Atlanta.
Heyward sustained the injury when he was struck by a Jon Niese fastball during the sixth inning of Wednesday’s 4-1 win over the Mets at Citi Field.
With four to six weeks of recovery time, Heyward could be sidelined for the rest of the regular season.
Heyward’s absence could be a big blow for the Braves, who have gained their 15 1/2-game lead in the National League East with the outfielder’s help.
Heyward has batted .345 with a .408 on-base percentage and a .586 slugging percentage since moving into the leadoff role on July 28. Atlanta has averaged 5.04 runs per game while going 19-4 during this span.
Heyward already missed nearly a full month early this season after undergoing an emergency appendectomy in Denver April 22.
“We’ve faced a lot of adversity injury-wise all year long, and the guys have picked it up each time,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “We just have to do it again.”
The Braves will likely move Justin Upton from left to right field while Evan Gattis and Joey Terdoslavich could share time in left field in Heyward’s absence.
With two outs in the sixth inning, Niese’s pitch appeared to hit the ear flap of Heyward’s helmet. Heyward immediately fell to the ground, while head trainer Jeff Porter and Gonzalez ran out to attend to him.
“It was tough. I wanted to elevate a fastball right there, and then it didn’t really slip out of my hands, but it kind of just ran in on him,” Niese said. “Obviously no intent, but I just felt bad. It’s every pitcher and every hitter’s worst nightmare. I just hope he’s OK.”