Braun, 29, has been on the disabled list since June 14 with a slow-healing bruise on his right thumb. The 2011 NL MVP has been dealing with thumb soreness since late May. Prior to that, he missed a few games due to neck spasms in April.
Braun's injuries have taken a particular toll on his power numbers. He hit just two home runs over his last 39 games, and did not have a single long ball over his last 16 games, when the thumb injury really developed.
The Brewers decided to shut down Braun from all baseball activities two weeks ago in hope of a quicker, fuller healing process. Though both Braun and the team were optimistic he could return to the team soon after being eligible, a second opinion showed he would be out longer than originally expected.
A return to swinging the bat is a good indicator that the thumb is nearly healed. When he is healthy, Braun will likely need a brief minor league rehab stint before returning to the Brewers' lineup.
Logan Schafer has been Braun's primary replacement in left field. After a hot start, Schafer has collected just four hits in his last 42 at-bats.