Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun to have thumb surgery

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Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun will have thumb surgery on Thursday to deaden the pain receptors near a nerve in his right thumb, the team announced Sunday.

The injury, which has interfered with the way Braun typically grips his bat, began in May 2013.

Braun said the procedure is less invasive than other options on the table, because the doctors will not be removing the nerve. The outfielder said he and the Brewers have tried many different types of treatment for the thumb, but they have not had much success.


"I've kind of known [that I would have an offseason procedure] the whole time, but based on where the team was at, I thought I had a chance to succeed and hopefully find a way to get through it," Braun said. "It's not like I can't play. I can play. I think the longer I've dealt with it, I've learned to deal with it. The pain, physically, is not so much the issue, it's the body's reaction to not being able to use the top hand in my swing for the majority of the year.

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the procedure has never been done on a thumb before.

Braun is under contract through the 2020 season. The outfielder will make $12 million in 2015. The following year, his five-year, $105 million extension begins.

This season, Braun batted .266 with 19 home runs and 81 RBI. His batting average, .777 OPS, and slugging percentage of .453 were the lowest of his career.

- Sarah Barshop