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Braves’ Ender Inciarte could return before postseason

Ender Inciarte, Braves

Atlanta Braves outfielder Ender Inciarte has not played since straining his right hamstring on Aug. 16, but the team is holding out hope that he could be activated sometime next week.

Manager Brian Snitker told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that despite the grueling nature of recovering from a hamstring injury, Inciarte is making strides toward a possible return:

“It’s just a time-consuming [recovery] because he screwed it up pretty bad,” Snitker said. “He is feeling better. All the reports are good. But what he does in drills is a lot different than taxing it and playing in games.”

Atlanta has been plenty susceptible to injuries as of late. Although veteran outfielder Nick Markakis was activated from the injured list on Friday, both Johan Camargo and Charlie Culberson went on the IL, with Culberson suffering multiple fractures after a scary scene where he was hit in the face by Washington Nationals reliever Fernando Rodney.

The injuries in the outfield are all the more frustrating because of how poorly Ronald Acuna has performed as of late. Over the last 28 days, Acuna is slashing .182/.287/.364 with a strikeout rate close to 34 percent.

Inciarte would provide a massive lift to a Braves team that is looking to carry momentum into October. Prior to the injury, Inciarte was having his best stretch of the season.

The three-time Gold Glover was slashing .293/.411/.520 since the All-Star break while reestablishing himself as an everyday starter.

Austin Riley is just 3-for-15 since his return from the IL. With Camargo and Culberson on the shelf, the Braves would certainly welcome Inciarte back into the lineup alongside Acuna and Markakis in the outfield.