Braun questionable for All-Star game

Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is unsure if he’ll be able to play in Tuesday’s All-Star game after he was out of the starting lineup for the seventh straight game on Saturday with a strained left calf.

”This whole process has been weighing risk versus reward because it’s not an overly painful thing, it’s just the danger of the area where the injury is, re-irritating it and making it a lot worse, which is something we want to avoid,” Braun said Saturday before the Brewers took on the Cincinnati Reds. ”We’re trying to take it step-by-step.”

Braun said he would sit down with Brewers brass and discuss his availability for the All-Star game later Saturday. He was hurt a week ago in Minnesota running to first base.

”There’s been a bunch of guys that have pulled out,” he said. ”It’s unfortunate for baseball, obviously you want all those guys to be there and be a part of it, but injuries are also part of the game and sometimes unavoidable.”

Braun said that the plan had been all along for him to miss a week after hurting a tendon connecting the calf muscle. Tests earlier in the week showed no damage.

”I knew I wasn’t going to play today a week ago,” Braun said. ”Once you’re out for a little while it’s a progression that you have to go through as far as steps to take. I hadn’t swung or done anything for a while, so then I had to hit off a tee, then soft toss, then play catch. Now today’s the first day I’m going to be allowed to take some batting practice, take some fly balls and attempt to jog for the first time in five days.”

Braun said he’s attending the festivities in Phoenix, but playing in the game remains in question even though the organization says it’s comfortable with Braun making his fourth consecutive start for the National League.

”If he’s ready,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. ”We want to be smart and not put him out there too early, then again, we don’t want him going too long without playing. So, I just think it really depends on how he feels today.”

Braun is hitting .320 with 16 homers, 62 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 83 games. He’s also carrying a career-high 22-game hitting streak, his third double-digit hitting streak of the season and third-longest in franchise history.