Simmons day to day due to sore right hand

Simmons day to day due to sore right hand

BOSTON -- The Braves held Andrelton Simmons out of Tuesday's starting lineup against the Red Sox with a sore right hand, but the team is optimistic that the shortstop can return as early as Wednesday if the swelling goes down.

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Simmons took a pitch off his right hand on Monday night. X-rays came back negative and showed no fractures. According to Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, athletic trainer Jeff Porter said the Braves "dodged a bullet" when the pitch struck Simmons on the webbing in between his index and middle fingers, partially missing the bones and knuckles.

"I didn't talk to [Simmons] about the pain because he isn't going to tell me the truth anyway," Gonzalez said. "As you could tell, he's swollen. He did say it had gone down a little bit from last night. So that's a good sign. He'll get treatment through the course of the entire day, and hopefully that will subside a little bit and he'll be ready tomorrow."

The injury occurred in the seventh inning, when Simmons left his hand curled around the bat while pulling back on a bunt attempt.

"I didn't think it was that bad," Simmons said. "It definitely hurt. I didn't think I broke anything at first. After it got numb I was getting worried, but I didn't feel unbearable pain. It just swelled up. I was pretty confident it was fine."

Simmons, who played in all of the first 64 games this season, insisted that he felt better on Tuesday but added that he accepts the team's decision to keep him out. Pedro Ciriaco started at shortstop and hit eighth for Atlanta.

"I'm always available if they need me," Simmons said. "It's obviously not 100 percent, but I'm ready to go whenever they think I'm ready."

Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.