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Heyward undergoes jaw operation

Atlantaap

Braves outfielder Jason Heyward had surgery Thursday on his broken right jaw after he was struck by a pitch.

The team has not said how long he will be out, but he could miss the rest of the regular season. Atlanta has a commanding lead in the NL East and hopes Heyward will recover in time for the playoffs.

Dr. Glenn Maron operated in Atlanta, one day after Heyward was injured. He inserted plates in both places where the jaw was fractured.

Before his injury, Heyward had become one of the Braves’ hottest hitters. He was batting .253 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs.

The loss of Heyward is the latest in a staggering string of injuries for the Braves this season, even while building a 15-game lead entering Thursday night’s game at St. Louis.