Austin Riley removed early from game against key division rival due to injury

An injury to the Braves' star third baseman is definitely not ideal, but here we are.
Atlanta Braves v New York Mets
Atlanta Braves v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

Coming off a really tough west coast trip last week, the Atlanta Braves needed to have a good week this week to wash the stink of that Dodgers' series off. Luckily, they handled business against the Red Sox and have held the Mets in check through the first two game of their weekend road series in New York.

With the game knotted at 1-1 in the fourth inning, Braves fans were treated to some less than good news as Austin Riley, who everyone probably agrees needs to be good and healthy for the Braves to reach their ceiling in 2024, had to leave the game early with what has been described as left side tightness.

Braves News: Austin Riley pulled from game due to tightness in left side

Before the "social media doctors" start weighing in too much, there is no way to determine how serious Riley's injury is. That the team's statement termed it as precautionary is certainly a positive sign, but this could be anything from a minor tweak and the Braves being cautious to an injury that could linger. However, Riley certainly didn't look like he felt awesome after an awkward swing in the third inning.

All of a sudden, the Braves' backup infield situation which was turned on its head with multiple moves last week very much matters. Zack Short immediately subbed in for Riley in the game tonight, but it will curious to see if Atlanta gives Luke Williams some playing time as well if Riley is forced to miss a protracted amount of time.

That said, there is no real replacement for Riley in the Braves' organization at the moment. If one was feeling particularly optimistic, prospect Nacho Alvarez is a very capable defender on the left side of the infield and is hitting .275 at Double-A right now, but that feels like a pretty big stretch and the Braves may just have to make due with what they have and hope that Riley's injury isn't too bad.

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