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08/31/09 7:22 PM ET

Schafer undergoes surgery on left wrist

Braves expect center fielder to be ready for Spring Training

MIAMI -- Braves center fielder Jordan Schafer's injury-plagued year took a turn in the right direction in Atlanta on Monday, when he underwent a surgical procedure to heal the left wrist that has bothered him since the regular season's first weekend.

During the procedure, doctors removed a bone spur and also used a wire to link two small bones located near the bottom-left portion of Schafer's left hand. The 22-year-old center fielder won't be able to play winter ball, but the Braves are confident that he'll be at full health when Spring Training begins.

"It's a common surgery for golfers and hitters," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "It doesn't restrict the flexibility of his wrist. It just stabilizes those two bones to hopefully allow him to not have that discomfort."

Schafer began this season as Atlanta's starting center fielder and maintained that role until the .204 batting average he compiled through the first 50 games of his Major League career earned him a ticket to Triple-A Gwinnett.

After playing just three games for Gwinnett, Schafer was sidelined with the same left wrist discomfort that had plagued him since he swung and missed a pitch during Atlanta's April 10 home opener.

Schafer returned to Gwinnett's lineup on June 27 and played just six games before he once again felt discomfort while swinging. At this point, doctors opted to place Schafer in a cast for one month.

Last year, Schafer missed 50 games while serving an HGH-related suspension. Over the course of the past two seasons, he has been limited to 399 at-bats.

"It's obviously a setback," Wren said. "But he's a talented guy that we look forward to getting back next spring."

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