Braves' Upton out 6-to-8 weeks

Lake Buena Vista, FL ( - Atlanta Braves center fielder Melvin Upton will miss the beginning of the 2015 season after being diagnosed with sesamoiditis in his left foot.

The Braves announced Friday that Upton will have his foot placed in a cast for two weeks before wearing a walking boot for a period of 4-to-6 weeks. The 30- year-old is slated to resume baseball activities in early April.

Upton, who is using his birth first name this season after going by "B.J." previously in his career, sustained the injury while taking batting practice during a Thursday workout. An MRI taken Friday revealed inflammation in one of the bones in his foot.

Signed to a five-year, $75 million contract by Atlanta in November of 2012, Upton's first two seasons with the Braves have been disappointing ones. He batted a career-low .184 and played in just 126 games in 2013, then managed a .208 average with 12 home runs and 35 RBI this past campaign.

Upton had averaged 26 homers, 80 RBI and 34 stolen bases over his final two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays from 2011 and 2012.

Zoilo Almonte, Eury Perez, Eric Young Jr. and rookie Todd Cunningham are candidates to begin the season in center field until Upton returns.