Braves right fielder Jason Heyward underwent an appendectomy Monday night at a Denver hospital, the team announced just before 1 a.m. Eastern time.
Recovery for appendix surgery is typically 2-3 weeks for baseball players, although Matt Halladay of the Cardinals and Adam Dunn of the White Sox returned from laparascopic emergency appendectomies in about one week in 2011. Neither went on the 15-day disabled list, but it’s more common for a player to be placed on the DL and not rush his return.
The rest period following appendix removal was reduced with the advent of the laparascopic appendectomy, a less invasive procedure than the traditional open appendectomy. Professional athletes usually have the laparascopic procedure.
There were no details provided in the two-sentence release from the Braves, other than Heyward had surgery at Rose Medical Center in Denver and the procedure was successful. More details should be forthcoming Tuesday.
It’s been a rough April for Heyward, who has a league-worst .121 average (7-for-58) with two homers, five RBIs and a .261 on-base percentage and .259 slugging percentage. The 2012 Gold Glove winner has continued to draw praise from coaches and manager Fredi Gonzalez for his work habits, hustle and defense.
The Braves’ scheduled series opener against the Colorado Rockies on Monday night was postponed due to snow and will be made up as part of a doubleheader Tuesday, with the first game set for 3:10 p.m. Eastern time and the nightcap at 8:40 p.m.
With Heyward out of the lineup, the Braves could play Reed Johnson or Jordan Schafer in right field. Or, one of those bench players could play left field and Justin Upton could also move back to his former right-field position while Heyward is sidelined.