CHICAGO -- Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun and pitcher Chase Anderson were each breathing sighs of relief Wednesday, further convinced they had narrowly dodged significant injuries the night before.
Braun, who suffered a strained left knee and sprained ankle in the fourth inning of the Brewers' loss in Game 2 of Tuesday's doubleheader after sliding hard into the wall in foul ground, was feeling better than expected on Wednesday, and said he expected to be back in the lineup as soon as Thursday afternoon. Anderson, who exited in the first inning after being struck on the left thigh by a 107-mph line drive, also reported improvement, and remained hopeful he won't miss a start.
"I think it's better than I anticipated it being, and as good as we could possibly hope for," Braun said. "So I feel good. Obviously there's some swelling, some stiffness and soreness, but hopefully we get that out as quickly as possible and I get back in there in a day or two.
"Like I said, I feel very fortunate. It could have been a lot worse. When I watch the replay, it definitely could have been a lot worse. [The Cubs'] team orthopedic came over and said the same thing. So I'm really fortunate, really lucky."
Because there was so much improvement from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning, the Brewers do not have any further tests scheduled. Head athletic trainer Dan Wright did a manual test Tuesday and determined that none of the ligaments in Braun's knee had been seriously compromised, a result confirmed by a Cubs physician.
"I'm not ruling out [a Thursday start for Braun], and I'm optimistic for the weekend," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Compared to what it felt like running out there on the field yesterday and seeing him on the ground, we're all pleased by that."
Anderson was also feeling relief on Wednesday. He was knocked out of his start after 11 pitches when a Kris Bryant liner struck Anderson on the inside of his left upper leg.
With Anderson's status in question, Counsell held off setting his starting rotation for the Brewers' weekend Interleague series in Seattle. If he continues to improve, Anderson could start one of those games.
If he has a setback, the Brewers would either call up a starter from the Minor Leagues for Friday's game against the Mariners, or pitch a series of relievers. Wily Peralta would then follow Saturday, and Matt Garza on Sunday.
"It's progressed pretty good," Anderson said. "It's still sore, obviously a little stiff. They did some soft tissue [treatment] and ultrasounds and stuff on it, and it's progressing good. It's kind of one day at a time, seeing how I progress each day. I'll play a little light catch here to see how it feels getting over the front side. That's obviously the key; getting over it so you don't leave the ball up. We'll see how that catch goes, and go from there."
Anderson watched the replay off his scare and marveled that Bryant's liner hit so flush that the baseball dropped straight to the dirt.
"What was it, 107 mph? That's what Statcast™ had it," Anderson said. "Some cars don't go that fast."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. 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.