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When will Max Fried return to Braves rotation this season?

We’ve got the latest updates for Max Fried and when he’ll return in 2023.

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried throws against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

After a groin injury on Opening Day set him back a couple of weeks, Max Fried had looked every bit the part of an NL Cy Young candidate for the Atlanta Braves this season, with a 2.08 ERA over his first five starts. But the lefty now finds himself back on the IL, and unfortunately this one looks like it could be a much more extended absence.

Fried struggled through easily his worst start of the season back on May 5, giving up five earned runs on eight hits and two walks (plus two errors) in six innings in a loss to the Baltimore Orioles. The lefty told Braves trainers the day after that he’d begun to feel some discomfort in his throwing arm, at which point he was sent for an MRI — and while that MRI ruled out any risk of Tommy John surgery, it did confirm a strain.

Max Fried injury update

May 24 — Fried is reportedly close to resuming throwing, but his timetable for return is still unclear. The best guess is that he might be back by the beginning of July.

May 10 — While there’s no firm timetable for Fried’s return, he did meet with the media after landing on the IL and shed a little bit of light on the situation.

While it sounds like he avoided any worst-case scenarios, don’t expect Fried back any time soon. He’ll be shut down from throwing for at least a couple of weeks to let his forearm heal, at which point he’ll likely need several weeks to build back up before he’s ready to return to the rotation — and that’s assuming there are no setbacks.’s Mark Bowman wrote that an early-July return is “an optimistic projection,” so it looks like Fried might be out until after the All-Star break. With a commanding lead in the NL East, the Braves are certainly inclined to play it safe with their ace with an eye on October.