Braves’ Freeman (wrist) reportedly could be sidelined until August

Freddie Freeman isn't ready to return to Atlanta's lineup.

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Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman will be sidelined longer than originally believed because of a bone bruise in his right wrist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

He initially had been projected to return immediately after the All-Star break.

"It’s more serious than we expected. I’m hoping he’ll be back before the first of August but he may not be," Braves president of operations John Hart told the newspaper. "He’s working hard to get back but it’s a slow-healing injury and it still gives him pain when he swings. He dinged it, played four or five days with it, and we have him a few days off. We gave him an injection and thought he would be back in two or three days but it was no better. We did further tests and found it was more serious than we thought."

Freeman, who last played June 17, is hitting .299/.367/.520 with 12 homers and 41 RBI in 66 games this season. Despite missing the past 23 games, the two-time All-Star still leads the Braves in homers and is second to center fielder Cameron Maybin (44) in RBI.

Without Freeman in the lineup, the Braves rank 29th in the majors with 2.78 runs per game since June 18.

Atlanta begins the second half seven games behind the first-place Washington Nationals in the NL East and six games back in the NL wild-card race.