Ryan Braun misses 5th straight game

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee Brewers All-Star left fielder Ryan Braun was out of the starting lineup for a fifth straight game on Thursday, though tests showed no damage to his strained left calf.

Braun's fourth consecutive All-Star start may still be in jeopardy, however, if the soreness lingers after he hurt himself running to first in Minnesota on Saturday night. The Brewers' training staff is concerned that Braun could further injure or tear the muscle if he tries to return too soon.

"It's not so much the soreness, because guys will play with some soreness. But, when you're playing with soreness that can lead to something else, then it becomes an issue," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "That's where it is. He's worried about him coming out of the box, firing like he was when he first pulled it and pulling it worse. If we do that, it's probably not going to be very smart with the three days off to bring him back early."

Braun has not wanted to speculate on his All-Star Game status but says he won't do anything to risk a more serious injury.

"Not much news to report. Slowly progressing, moving in the right direction," Braun said. "I don't want to be stupid about it. The last thing I want to do is rush back."

Braun is hitting .320 with 16 homers, 62 RBIs and 19 stolen bases in 83 games. He's also carrying a career-high 22-game hitting streak, his third double-digit hitting streak of the season and third-longest in franchise history.

Roenicke said he hopes Braun will return for one of the weekend games but would not have a problem with Braun missing Milwaukee's final four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds and playing in the All-Star Game if he were 100 percent healthy.

"If he can't go here and he's trying to force it to the All-Star Game, I would not want him to do it. But if he's playing the All-Star Game and he's 100 percent healthy, then maybe that's a good game to play because if he doesn't play in it and he comes back on Thursday, we're talking 11 days without him playing a game," Roenicke said. "If he's 100 percent healthy Tuesday, I'd be OK with him playing. If there's still a little bit (of soreness) there at all, I'd rather he not."