Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun is hoping to return to the lineup on Thursday, MLB.com reported Sunday.
Braun's optimism was bolstered with a good batting practice session on Saturday. He has been on the disabled list since June 14 because of nerve inflammation between his right thumb and forefinger.
The Thursday return hinges on how batting-practice sessions go the next few days. The Brewers begin a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday heading into the All-Star break.
"I wouldn't say (Thursday) is as soon as he could play," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said, "but I think that's probably a good thing to shoot for. I know he's probably wanting to go before that, but we'll see how it goes (Monday) and the next day."
Roenicke indicated that Braun, who said he was feeling good after Saturday's BP, would ease back into the lineup.
"He's got to get his legs under him," Roenicke said, according to MLB.com. "If we can get him maybe back before the All-Star break and let him play in some games, and then use the break as kind of how you would recuperate in spring training, that would be ideal."
In 57 games this season, Braun is batting .304 with nine home runs and 36 RBIs.