Tyler Pastornicky injury: Braves INF getting MRI on sprained knee

Mike Ehrmann

Dan Uggla's replacement at second base lasted just one game and change before succumbing to injury.

Atlanta Braves infielder Tyler Pastornicky will undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the severity the knee sprain he suffered in a collision Wednesday, reports Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The 23-year-old was called up Tuesday afternoon to spell Dan Uggla at second base while the slugger recovers from Lasik eye surgery, but Pastornicky didn't stay on the field very long. Running after a pop-up in third inning of Wednesday's game, Pastornicky collided with right fielder Jason Heyward and was forced to leave the game.

The young infielder expressed optimism Wednesday that the injury won't end up being anything serious, but seems to understand that it all comes down to the MRI results:

"All the news I’ve heard so far is good ... They did all the tests on it and the tests all came out all right, but still do the MRI tomorrow and see where it goes from there."

With Pastornicky on the sideline indefinitely, the Braves are dangerously thin up the middle. Paul Janish was able to move over second base when Pastornicky went down Wednesday, but he and Andrelton Simmons are really the only middle infielders the club has left. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said that if either Janish or Simmons were to get hurt at this point, he'd probably have to move center fielder B.J. Upton to the infield.

The Braves have an off-day Thursday and will probably use the Janish/Simmons tandem up the middle Friday, allowing the club at least two days to get a gauge on the extent of Pastornicky's injury. If he does end up hitting the disabled list, general manager Frank Wren may need to step up his search for a serviceable middle infielder on the waiver wire.

Pastornicky has spent most of the season at Triple-A Gwinnett, where he is batting .292/.354/.392 with four home runs in 74 games. In 20 games with the big-league club, he has nine hits -- eight singles and a double -- in 30 at-bats.

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