Atlanta Braves: Say It Isn't So! Jason Heyward May Just Be Inury Prone.

Ryan FriederichContributor IMay 11, 2011

Injuries to Jason Heyward cause Braves fans everywhere some concern.
Injuries to Jason Heyward cause Braves fans everywhere some concern.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

For years, Atlanta Braves fans have been drooling over the 6'5", 240-lb Jason Heyward.

Heyward was one of the top prospects in baseball before making his initial appearance in the 2010 season opener against the Chicago Cubs and Carlos Zambrano, promptly launching a home run on his first swing deep into the bullpen.

At the time, this seemed like the beginning to an unwritten fairy tale that would unfold over the long and illustrious career of the new Braves legend, but now it's starting to seem like this fantasy is unraveling as fast as the bandages that are being put upon the folk hero. 

Heyward left Tuesday's game after complaining of discomfort and numbness in his hand that he believes is connected to a sore shoulder that has bothered him since spring training. Heyward failed to act upon this ailing shoulder until now, which begs the question: Is Jason Heyward injury prone?

Heyward missed a number of games last season because of a bruised thumb, including his first All-Star game. There was also a nagging groin injury that plagued Heyward last year and is often brought up when discussing his lack of production during parts of the 2010 season. 

Many of the scouting reports that were compiled about Heyward coming out of the minors stated how he missed time because of injuries, but none of them seemed too serious. Does this latest injury mean it is time for Braves fans to worry about these pesky nicks that are forcing the right fielder to miss time?

The answer to this question is yes. The Braves find themselves falling behind both the Phillies and the Marlins in the National League East, and the four-game setback seems like 10 with the rotation of the Phillies.

If Heyward starts missing time or keeps dropping numbers, the Braves could quickly find themselves in an offensive funk that haunted them all last year. The only remedy that comes to mind right now is a dose of Dan Uggla, and he might have turned the corner with an absolute bomb to left field last night.