Jason Heyward could be back with the Braves next week. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
The Atlanta Braves' Jason Heyward is on schedule to return by the end of May, and could be back playing with the team as early as next week.
The right fielder underwent appendectomy surgery in April and was placed on the 15-day Disabled List, but Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Wednesday that he will begin his Triple-A assignment with Gwinnett on Thursday and could be back playing with the Braves next week for their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, which begins May 13.
Heyward participated in batting practice Wednesday morning, his "final hurdle" before beginning the Triple-A assignment, according to Rogers. He will be reevaluated after Gwinnett's weekend series against New York Yankees affiliate Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
In his 17 games before the surgery, Heyward was hitting just .121 (7-for-58) with two home runs and five RBIs.