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Braves | Brian McCann unlikely for opening day

Atlanta Braves C Brian McCann (shoulder) isn't ready to play with three days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and he won't be until his surgically repaired right shoulder is healed from offseason surgery. He hasn't had any setbacks but won't be ready to return until "some point in April." "I'm not close" to being ready, McCann said. "Just started hitting off a tee. I started throwing last week, from 45 feet. Sixty feet this week. I've thrown a total of six times. Next week hopefully at 90 feet, and just go from there. I've got to build my arm strength back up." McCann said his shoulder is feeling good, though. He will become a free agent next winter, and the team will suspend contract talks until then. C Gerald Laird will be the primary backstop until McCann is fully healthy. Doctors will not clear McCann to play in games until April 15, but he'll get at-bats in minor league games before then.

Fantasy Tip: This was expected after McCann underwent surgery on his shoulder last year and the damage was more extensive than initially believed. His price will likely drop a tad but McCann, if healthy, still provides top-tier power at his position. Laird should only be considered in two-catcher formats or deep NL-only leagues.

2013-02-07 13:17:59 | Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - David O'Brien

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