The Atlanta Braves made a big splash in free agency Wednesday by signing outfielder Nick Markakis, but their new acquisition comes with some baggage in the form of an injury.

According to Ken Rosenthal of, the former Baltimore Orioles star may undergo neck surgery, which could keep him out as long as three months:

While this revelation may come as a surprise to the general public, the Braves did their due diligence before signing the two-time Gold Glove Award winner, per Rosenthal:

If Markakis does undergo surgery and miss 12 weeks, then that would put him on track to return in March, which would still give him time to prepare for the start of the regular season.

The Braves have a lot invested in the 31-year-old right fielder as they inked him to a four-year, $44 million deal, according to David O’Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Markakis is the de facto replacement for Jason Heyward after his trade to the St. Louis Cardinals, and the Braves can’t afford to be without him once the season commences. If initial estimates are accurate, though, Atlanta should be in the clear.


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