Braves’ Pastornicky tears ACL, out for season

ATLANTA — Tyler Pastornicky’s collision with outfielder Jason Heyward proved to be even worse than the initial sprained left knee diagnosis: the infielder is set to have season-ending surgery to repair a torn ACL.

The injury occurred in the third inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, as both Pastornicky and Heyward converged on a fly ball near the foul line in right field. While the collision was not overly violent, Heyward’s knee clipped Pastornicky, 23, in the back of the leg. After finishing out the inning, Pastornicky said the knee began tightening up on him as he walked off the field, and the Braves pulled him to avoid further risk.

Now, as it turns out, the knee was even worse the originally reported.

The surgery date is set for Aug. 19.

Pastornicky was originally in the lineup due to starting second baseman Dan Uggla hitting the disabled list to undergo LASIK eye surgery; Uggla is expected to miss the better part of August.

With the Braves now short on infielders, especially middle infielders — Ramiro Pena and Blake DeWitt are also on the DL — they purchased the contract of former fifth-round pick Phil Gosselin, an infielder hitting .277/.326/.343 in 183 plater appearances this season at Triple-A Gwinnett. 

Gosselin will be in uniform and available for Friday night’s game against the Washington Nationals.

Primarily a second baseman, Gosselin, a University of Virginia product, will provide some middle infield depth — or a safety net — for Andrelton Simmons and Paul Janish. Bright side for the franchise: it features two defensive specialists up the middle for the next week or two.

Pastornicky becomes the sixth Braves player to suffer a season-ending injury this season, joining Pena (shoulder), Tim Hudson (ankle), Eric O’Flaherty (elbow), Jonny Venters (elbow) and Christhian Martinez (shoulder). That’s a veteran starter, three bullpen arms and two middle infielders, for those keeping score. 

Pastornicky was hitting .300/.323/.333 in 33 plate appearances this season.