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08/25/09 7:06 PM ET

Prado returns to lineup vs. Padres

Second baseman gets encouraging news about headaches

ATLANTA -- Martin Prado received some encouraging news while visiting Dr. Richard Bernstein in Atlanta on Monday and returned to Turner Field on Tuesday feeling confident enough to resume his everyday duties as the Braves second baseman.

After taking batting practice before Tuesday night's series opener against the Padres, Prado spoke with a sense of relief that hadn't been present since he began experiencing the effects of exertional headaches on Aug. 15.

Prado was still cognizant of the fact that he might once again start experiencing headaches or dizziness once he started moving at game speed during Tuesday's game. But he entered this contest with a sense of confidence that wasn't present exactly one week earlier, when he returned to the lineup against the Mets and was forced to exit after just one at-bat.

"I feel way better," Prado said. "I feel confident. I feel like I have some strength in my legs. My body feels relaxed."

After exiting the Aug. 18 game in New York, Prado returned to Atlanta the next day to visit Bernstein, a neurologist who diagnosed the condition as exertional headaches and explained that they could have developed due to excess stress.

Once Prado began taking a prescribed anti-inflammatory medication last week, he started seeing positive results. While he experienced a headache as recently as Sunday, he exited Monday's meeting with Bernstein knowing he was prepared to begin playing again.

"He told me that I was progressing better and that it was time to give it a shot to see how it reacts," Prado said. "He told me that I was going to be fine and that gave me a lot of confidence."

Prado first experienced some dizziness and headaches when he took a swing during the fifth inning of the Aug. 15 game against the Phillies. When the symptoms were still present as he took batting practice the following day, he visited an Atlanta-area hospital to undergo a CT scan.

Based on the information revealed by that scan, the Braves provided him a pinch-hit appearance that evening and put him back in the lineup on Aug. 18 with the belief that he had overcome the symptoms that had bothered him the previous few days.

Along with Prado, the Braves also welcomed Garret Anderson back to Tuesday night's lineup. Anderson missed this past weekend's series against the Marlins with an aggravated sacroiliac joint. Ryan Church, who has missed the past three games with lower back discomfort caused by the same ailment, is confident that he'll return on Wednesday night.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.