Braun encouraged by cryotherapy on thumb

Braun encouraged by cryotherapy on thumb

KANSAS CITY -- Two mostly quiet weeks at the plate after undergoing another cryotherapy treatment, how is Ryan Braun's right thumb?

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"Overall it feels pretty good," said Braun, who homered in his first game after the treatment, then batted .205 with no homers, two RBIs and 12 strikeouts in his next 11 games. "I'm happy with where it's at."

Braun added, "It's exciting and encouraging that there is an option that makes it better, and there's limited downtime and limited recovery time. So from that perspective, I think it's exciting."

It was a somewhat more subdued self-diagnosis than the one Braun offered after his first such treatment in October, in which a specialist introduces super-cold temperature to a bothersome nerve near the base of Braun's thumb. At that time, Braun said he felt 100 percent, and expressed great optimism about having a productive 2015 season after fighting pain for most of the previous two years.

"The difference obviously was in October we weren't playing baseball at all," Braun said. "When you're still playing and still dealing with it, it's a much different set of circumstances than October. But overall it feels really good."

Brewers manager Craig Counsell cautioned against attributing Braun's cold stretch to his health.

"Everybody fights through stuff every day. That's how we have to do it as a Major League player," Counsell said before Thursday's game against the Royals. "This is a 'baseball season' thing. You have good stretches and you have bad stretches. I don't think this has anything to do with -- I think he's going through a little rough patch. I'm fully expecting a big game any day, really.

"Every hitter's going to go through these. We went through this thing with Adam Lind and then all of a sudden he had a great week or whatever. So it's similar to that for me."

Braun offered a similar outlook.

"Just the way the season goes," he said. "It's a tough game. It's been a really challenging season for us, a daily fight to try to stay positive, to stay optimistic, because it's been a pretty miserable experience for us to this point. It's really been pretty terrible overall."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.