Braves shortstop Simmons reports improvement in injured thumb

Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons reported improvement in his injured right thumb and is hoping he can return to the lineup this weekend.

Simmons, who suffered a bone bruise while attempting to make a diving catch in last Saturday's loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, received a cortisone shot Tuesday.

Swelling in the joint restricted Simmons to taking grounders earlier in the week. Although there is still some soreness, Simmons said Thursday the thumb feels a lot better.

Simmons is batting .254 on the season but is mired in a 2-for-20 slump. He also hasn't had an extra-base hit or an RBI in his last 12 games.