"I think the danger in trying to play through an injury constantly is it's easy to reinjure it," Braun said after Friday's 8-2 loss. "Your body also compensates, so it's easy to hurt something else. I don't think it's too bad, but it doesn't feel good right now."
The Brewers can't afford to lose any more players. Their Opening Day catcher, first baseman and shortstop are already on the disabled list.
"We'll see how he is [Saturday]. We need to have him in the lineup," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We're banged up, and we need that bat there."
Does Braun worry about exposing himself to a serious injury by playing through this relatively minor ache?
"I mean, it's always a concern," Braun said. "There's always risk versus reward. But I think when you play this game, you're always playing through something. It's a matter of trying to manage it, hope that it's not too bad. Some days, I feel good, some, not so good, but obviously I always feel like I can contribute, even when I'm less than 100 percent. It's difficult to restrain myself from running, sliding, diving. When you're out there, you compete and adrenaline takes over, and it's not easy to play at 80 percent."
Coaches have asked Braun to restrain himself on multiple occasions, he said.
But Braun has the green light to run when he feels well enough, and he was feeling good Friday, so he took off for second base in the sixth inning with the Brewers trailing, 6-2. When the Pirates made a pitching change moments later, Braun limped to the dugout to consult with head athletic trainer Dan Wright.
Braun returned to second base and remained in the game through the seventh inning. Norichika Aoki took over in left field for the eighth.
"The Achilles, it gets tight on him, and from day to day it changes," Roenicke said. "It's hard knowing where we are with it. Some days he'll say, 'I feel great and I want to steal bases.' Next day he'll come out and say, 'It's tight again, I don't think I'm going to run.'
"That part I don't like, because any time you're messing with that from game to game, it's not very comfortable on me to try to decide what to do with him."