Braun to miss time with right thumb injury

Ryan Braun's return to the field is questionable while dealing with a right thumb injury.

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun will miss Monday's game against Minnesota with a right thumb injury and may need a couple of days off to help the recovery process.

Braun injured the thumb two weeks ago and has been playing through the injury since. He's tried just about every remedy to alleviate the pain but hasn't found anything that works.

"I've basically been swinging with one hand for two weeks," Braun said. "I've changed the way I've held the bat. I've changed the way I swung, and it's frustrating because it's not progressing and it's not getting any better, at all. It's just at the point where I need to take the time to get it close to being healthy so that I can contribute and do the things I'm used to doing."

A neck strain caused Braun to miss three games in April, and the thumb could be an equally nagging injury. Braun has tried wrapping his thumb in different ways, wrapping the bat in a different way and numerous other things.

It's to the point now where he's worried about risking other injuries because he's compensating to change his swing.

Braun is hitting .311 with nine home runs and 33 RBI this season, but has hit just two home runs in May.

"It's been getting progressively worse, it hasn't been getting better," Braun said. "But I also haven't had the luxury of taking any time off. I'm not going to swing a bat or do anything (Monday). Hopefully it gets better. I don't want to put a timetable on it. I might show up (Tuesday) and it gets a lot better. I'm trying some different things treatment wise. Hopefully they are able to figure out something that makes a difference."

There's never a good time for the Brewers to be missing their best hitter, but the former MVP's injury comes at a time the team is struggling on the field and to stay healthy.

Brewers third baseman and cleanup hitter Aramis Ramirez is still battling a knee sprain that landed him on the disabled list earlier this season, while first baseman Corey Hart remains on the disabled list. Ramirez is out Monday as part of his recovery plan.

Other than three of their top hitters, the Brewers have closer Jim Henderson on the disabled list and Kyle Lohse — their best starter this season — is battling elbow irritation.

"For every team, your depth is challenged throughout the course of the season," Braun said. "Other guys need to play well. To win you not only need the original 25 guys you start the year with to contribute, you need lots of guys to help in order to be successful. In the moment it's always discouraging. But looking to the future I think it can be encouraging because hopefully everyone gets back, gets healthy and we can all put together a streak where we are playing the way we are capable of."

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