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.