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09/21/11 12:03 AM ET

Strained right calf could sideline Gonzalez

MIAMI -- Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez will likely miss a couple games because of a right calf strain that he first felt over the weekend and slightly aggravated during Tuesday night's 4-0 win over the Marlins at Sun Life Stadium.

Gonzalez exited in the sixth inning after running from second to third base on a Brooks Conrad ground ball. The veteran shorstop walked off the field with a slight limp and had his calf wrapped in ice when he talked to reporters after the game.

"We don't think it's major," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But it's one of those calf injuries that can become major."

While playing defense during this past weekend's series against the Mets, Gonzalez felt a slight twinge in his calf. He was able to play through the discomfort over the next couple of days. But as he ran to third base, he felt he was putting himself in position to worsen the strain.

Gonzalez is hoping to return to the lineup on Friday or Saturday against the Nationals.

"I want to keep playing, but I could damage it real bad," Gonzalez said. "I need to take care of myself. Right now, we're in a playoff race. We've got just a few more games left. I can take just a couple days off and be back."

Gonzalez's leadoff homer sparked the decisive three-run second inning the Braves produced against Anibal Sanchez on Tuesday night. A sixth-inning single gave him his fifth multi-hit performance in his past eight games. Gonzalez has batted .466 (14-for-30) with four doubles and three homers during that time.

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