Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.
According to MLB.com, Heyward, who has been on the disabled list since April 22 after undergoing emergency appendectomy surgery, will play in a rehab game for Triple-A Gwinnett at 10:35 am on Thursday.
He will then travel with Gwinnett to Scranton, Pennsylvania, for a weekend series against the Pawtucket Red Sox.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution notes that depending on how he performs during the rehab assignment, Heyward could make his return some time during the Braves three-game series in Arizona or when they return home May 17-19 against the Dodgers.
“We’re testing everything out, so far nothing but great responses from this side and my body,” Heyward told AJC earlier this week.
For those counting, this injury rehabilitation stint marks Heyward’s second with the G-Braves. In 2011 he played two games with the team while recovering from right shoulder soreness.
Including his brief three-game stint during the club’s inaugural 2009 season, Heyward is 5-for-17 (.294) with a double, four runs scored and two RBI in five career games with Gwinnett.
Prior to his surgery, Heyward was batting .121 with two homers and five RBI in 17 games.
In 2012, Heyward’s third year in the Bigs, he hit .269 with 30 doubles, 27 home runs and 82 RBI in 158 games for Atlanta.
He also picked up his first career National League Gold Glove for his stellar play in right field.
Over the course of his four-year career with the Braves, Heyward’s hit .256 with 61 home runs and 201 RBI in 445 games.
In his absence the Braves have turned to Jordan Schafer, Reed Johnson, and now Evan Gattis in the outfield.