Hanson, Jurrjens trying to return for playoffs

Right-handers Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurrjens are trying to
recover from injuries before the postseason for the NL wild
card-leading Braves.

The Braves opened a three-game series against Florida on Monday
night leading St. Louis by 4 1/2 games in the wild-card race.

Atlanta’s revamped rotation includes rookies Mike Minor, Randall
Delgado and Brandon Beachy along with veterans Tim Hudson and Derek
Lowe. Another rookie, Julio Teheran, has made three starts.

Hanson (11-7) has been on the disabled list since Aug. 7 with a
sore right shoulder. Jurrjens (13-6), who has a bone bruise on his
right knee, hasn’t pitched since Aug. 30.

”That’s 24 wins sitting on the bench next to us,” manager
Fredi Gonzalez said. ”That’s not good.”

Hanson said Monday he had normal soreness after throwing in the
bullpen for the first time Sunday in St. Louis. He is set for
another bullpen session on Wednesday.

An MRI showed a small tear in Hanson’s right rotator cuff that
won’t require surgery.

Jurrjens is wearing a brace on his knee. He is one week into a
two-week period where he can’t throw, leaving him behind Hanson’s
pace.

Jurrjens spent two weeks on the DL last month with a right knee
strain. He had surgery on the same knee in October to repair a torn
meniscus.

Jurrjens said his latest injury is ”frustrating” and
”annoying.”

”Sometimes it’s hard to be around the guys,” he said.

Jurrjens dropped his head when asked about his chances to pitch
again this season.

”I’m trying to stay positive, but sometimes you have to check
on reality, too,” he said.

Gonzalez said he hasn’t given up on Jurrjens’ return.

”Until somebody tells me no, we are hoping,” Gonzalez
said.

Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez started Monday night against
Florida after missing three games with a stiff lower back.