Francoeur scheduled to return to lineup today

Jeff Francoeur, hit in the face by a pitch on Sunday, is scheduled to return to the Braves lineup tonight when Atlanta hosts the Detroit Tigers at Disney's Wide World of Sports.

Francoeur took batting practice on Wednesday, but didn't accompany the team on its short trip across Kissimmee, Fla., to play the Houston Astros in a night game.

"The quicker I can get back in there the better," Francoeur told MLB.com, noting the possible mental issues after being beaned. "I want to try to get going as soon as possible. This isn't something you want to let linger."

The former Parkview standout was hit on the left side off the face by a pitch from Todd Wellemeyer of St. Louis during a game at Jupiter, Fla. He received cuts inside his mouth, but no broken bones or loss of teeth.

Fortunately for Francoeur, the pitch didn't strike the right side of his face. He has a metal plate on that side after being hit in the face by a foul tip while playing for Class A Myrtle Beach in 2004.

"(The doctor) said I'm a lucky guy," the 24-year-old told MLB.com. "He said another half-inch lower, I probably would have done something to my jaw. He said another half-inch over this way, I probably would have done something to my teeth. And another half-inch up, it would have hit in the cheekbone."

The Braves right fielder is batting .314 with a homer and eight RBIs this spring.