(NEW YORK) -- Atlanta Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, who has been out since breaking his jaw when he was hit by a fastball on Aug. 21, is preparing to take batting practice on Friday. Heyward had the protective bars and bands that were in his mouth removed Monday. Heyward will wear a fitted mouth guard once he begins on-field baseball activities.
The 24-year-old has also been cleared to eat more solid food.
After a few days of evaluation, Braves general manager Frank Wren will decide when it's best to send Heyward to the instructional league for at bats. There still isn't a set timetable for when Heyward will return. "I think we were cautiously optimistic he would get back to baseball activity sometime in September," Wren said. "It's progressing as we had hoped. I know it is progressing as he had hoped. I think everybody has the goal for him to get back for October. We'll just continue to see how he progresses."
Heyward is hitting .253 with 13 home runs, 60 runs scored , 37 RBIs and a .347 on-base percentage this season.
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