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Brewers hoping Ryan Braun returns sometime this weekend

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun will have a preplanned procedure on his right thumb that will sideline him at least until the weekend.

The cryotherapy procedure involves an injection of subzero temperatures into a damaged nerve on the base of Braun's thumb. He had the same procedure done in October.

Braun missed the Brewers' game Wednesday at St. Louis after traveling to Los Angeles to have the treatment.

"He feels like this therapy that he gets, it significantly helps and gets him back to 100 percent," Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters. "And if we can keep him at close to 100 percent, then we get the great Ryan Braun for 150 games. It apparently has a shelf life, I guess you could say, and we're kind of getting up on that shelf life.

"So we thought now was a good time -- with the off day and the DH series [in Minnesota] -- to do it."

Braun has enjoyed a resurgence in power this season, slugging 12 home runs in 182 at bats for the NL Central-worst Brewers. But he had just one hit in eight at-bats to start June, and Counsell said, "I think he just felt a little deterioration in it, and the effectiveness of the therapy had kind of expired."

The Brewers are off Thursday, then visit the Minnesota Twins for a weekend series starting Friday. Counsell said he hopes Braun can join the team sometime against the Twins.

Also Wednesday, the Brewers optioned pitcher Tyler Cravy to Triple-A Colorado Springs and recalled outfielder Shane Peterson, who started against the Cardinals.