ATLANTA - Further evaluation Wednesday on Braves starter Kyle Davies' injured right leg revealed a torn groin, something far worse than the initial diagnosis of a strain.
Davies' leg will require surgery, Dr. William Meyers determined Wednesday after seeing Davies in his Philadelphia office.
It isn't yet known when the 22-year-old will have surgery, the Braves said. Nor is any ultimate timetable known for the return of the right-hander, who is 2-3 with a 6.12 ERA in eight starts this season.
Braves general manager John Schuerholz said Wednesday he expects Davies back at some point this season.
"I'd be guessing if I told you anything else," Schuerholz said.
By comparison, infielder Nomar Garciaparra, then with the Cubs, faced a two-to-three-month prognosis after he tore his left groin last season.
Davies felt tightness Monday before his start against Florida, but didn't think it was enough to tell the team's medical or coaching staffs.
After initially loosening, Davies' leg tightened and then popped in the third inning to force his exit and, now, prolonged absence.
Horacio Ramirez, expected back May 30 after two more rehab starts for his strained hamstring, will fill the long-term void for the Braves. But the team still has to decide who will take Davies' start Saturday.
Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said Wednesday that the likely candidate is Travis Smith, who is 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA in eight starts with Class AAA Richmond.
HIGHLY PLACED FRIENDS: Jeff Francoeur said the home plate umpire Tuesday night yelled at him to get into the batter's box before his at-bat in the seventh inning.
Francoeur had a good excuse for the delay - his friend and Braves fan, President Jimmy Carter, was talking with him.
"Hey, I was talking with the president," Francoeur told the ump.
Carter's greeting served Francoeur well. In that at-bat, he singled to extend his career-long hitting streak to 14 games.
"He's a good friend to have," said Francoeur, who got to know the former president during an off-season charity event in Carter's hometown of Plains, Ga.
SHORT STAY: To take Davies' spot on the roster, the Braves called up right-hander Anthony Lerew from Richmond on Wednesday. But Lerew's stay with the big-league club likely won't be a long one.
After a scoreless and pain-free minor-league rehab inning for Single-A Rome on Wednesday, reliever Lance Cormier is expected to be activated for this afternoon's game against Florida.
Reach R. Travis Haney at email@example.com.