Braves starting pitcher Cole Hamels suffered a shoulder injury while doing weighted-ball exercises as part of his offseason workout program and is expected to miss the start of the season, general manager Alex Anthopoulos told The Athletic on Wednesday.

Although budding ace Mike Soroka is expected to take the mound Opening Day for the Braves when they face the Arizona Diamondbacks on March 26, Hamels was one of Atlanta’s biggest offseason acquisitions of the winter after it signed him to a one-year, $18 million deal in December.

Hamels, 36, is coming off a season in which he went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 27 starts for the Chicago Cubs. The left-hander missed a month with a left oblique strain and struggled to regain his form upon returning to the mound in August.

He now returns to the NL East, a division he knows well after spending the first nine and a half seasons of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Nationals won't face the Braves until June 9, so Hamels should have ample time to get healthy in time to face a franchise he has a colorful history with.

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