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Braves beat 5/10

May 10, 2010

Powell visits old friend Uecker

MILWAUKEE — Before Braves broadcaster Jim Powell arrived at Miller Park on Monday, he visited an old friend, legendary Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker.

Powell, who worked with Uecker for 13 years in the Brewers’ radio booth, was encouraged by the health of his longtime friend, who had successful heart surgery just 10 days earlier. Uecker has been scheduled to return to the broadcast booth 10-12 weeks after his surgery on April 30.

“He looks really good, he sounds really good and he’s got the exact same sense of humor for which he’s well-known,” Powell said. “We had a great visit, and I feel like he’ll be back before people expect him to.”

After joining the Braves’ broadcast team before the 2009 season, Powell has kept in close touch with the 75-year-old Uecker over the phone, and surprisingly enough, through text messaging.

In fact, Powell was among the few people who knew the surgery was coming before the official announcement on April 27 at Miller Park.

“We’ve stayed in pretty good contact,” Powell said. “So I knew what was going on with him, and like everybody else, I was really worried about him.”

Uecker’s positive energy and humor, for which he is well known, had a profound effect on Powell when the two met Monday.

“We’ve been texting since the day after, but today was the first day that I’ve spoken to him since the surgery,” Powell said. “To see him today up and around on his feet, with good color and in great spirits, certainly picked up my spirits.”

Uecker’s humor and positive outlook were among the things noted by those closest to him when the surgery was announced, especially the comedic way with which Uecker opened the press conference on that day.

When asked about his best memories from their time together, Powell shared similar thoughts.

“When you work with Bob, you come to the ballpark to have a good time,” Powell said. “He has a healthy perspective about the game and about life. For a young broadcaster like me, I learned a lot of great lessons from him. I learned you’ve got to take the game seriously, but not too seriously and just have a good time and enjoy yourself on the broadcast.”

Jurrjens aggravates left hamstring

MILWAUKEE — Right-hander Jair Jurrjens suffered a setback on Monday that will likely keep him out beyond Saturday, when he becomes eligible to be activated from the disabled list.

While running in the outfield at Miller Park before Monday’s game, Jurrjens felt something pop in his lower left hamstring. According to Jurrjens, it was not the same part of the hamstring as the original strain that put him on the disabled list and kept him out of his last scheduled start against the Phillies.

“It wasn’t even 100 percent sprinting, I was just trying to get back to normal strides,” Jurrjens said. “Before it happened, I was feeling good and just starting to put a little bit extra in it.”

Braves manager Bobby Cox said Jurrjens would stay with the team in Milwaukee before having an MRI upon returning to Atlanta.

Cox did not say who he expected to start for the team Saturday against the D-backs.

Jurrjens is one of a handful of Braves sidelined recently after the team went relatively injury-free through Spring Training and the beginning of the season. Shortstop Yunel Escobar remains on the disabled list and is eligible to return on Saturday as well.

Third baseman Chipper Jones returned to the Braves’ lineup Monday night against the Brewers and right fielder Jason Heyward is expected back for Tuesday’s matchup.

With so many teammates dealing with various injuries, Jurrjens is trying to remain positive despite the setback with his strained hamstring.

“I’ve got to just try to [keep] a smile on my face … even if inside of me I’m not so happy,” Jurrjens said. “Everybody has their own issue on this team and the team is not doing well. For me not to be smiling, I don’t think it’s going to help with anything.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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