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When will Max Fried return to the Braves rotation this season?

Atlanta Braves ace Max Fried suffered a hamstring injury in the team’s first game of the season.

Starting pitcher Max Fried #54 of the Atlanta Braves works the first inning against the Washington Nationals on Opening Day at Nationals Park on March 30, 2023 in Washington, DC. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

4/17 Update: Fried is officially off the injured list and will return to Atlanta’s rotation on Monday night against the San Diego Padres.

4/11 Update: Initially, there was hope that the Braves would get Fried back from the IL when he was first eligible on April 16. Unfortunately, his recovery isn’t moving as quickly. Fried is now expected to be out until at least April 25.

4/4 Update: The Braves have placed Fried on the 15-day IL, retroactive to April 1. They have recalled Bryce Elder to the major league roster. Elder is projected to start on Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Fried was diagnosed with a strained left hamstring, and the team is hopeful he will be back when first eligible.

Update: It is currently being called “left hamstring discomfort” by the Braves as they further evaluate Fried. The good news is that if there isn't any structural damage, is that Fried could avoid the IL and be ready in time for his next scheduled start against the St. Louis Cardinals next week.

The Atlanta Braves are starting off the season facing the Washington Nationals. Southpaw Max Fired got the starting nod on Opening Day. He appeared to suffer an injury covering first base in the fourth inning and has been removed from the game. Reliever Lucas Luetge replaces him on the mound with the Braves up 4-1.

Fried had pitched well prior to his injury. He finishes the game allowing four hits and one earned in 3.1 innings of work while striking out two. He had only thrown 43 pitches and had the run support to go deeper into the game. The 36-year-old Luetge was most recently in the New York Yankees organization. He pitched in 50 games last season and had a 2.67 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 57.1 innings of work.

Fried tried to pitch through the injury, but you can see after he covered first base on the ground ball that he instantly motioned to his quad or hamstring. If he misses any time, Atlanta may have to get creative with his replacement. Kyle Wright is already on the IL, causing the Braves to keep rookie Jared Shuster on the Opening Day roster. They are already gearing up to call up Dylan Dodd to take over for Wright, so they would have to go further down the minor league rosters to find some help.