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Back up: Brewers OF Ryan Braun optimistic following surgery, endorses Stearns' rebuilding plan


MILWAUKEE — Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun says he is feeling fine following offseason back surgery and is optimistic that he will be back at 100 percent for spring training.

Braun says the only surprise is that rehab is going a little longer than he anticipated after undergoing the procedure on Oct. 8. Braun spoke to reporters on Wednesday morning while taking part in the team's annual holiday food drive outside Miller Park.

The surgery to relieve a herniated disc in his back caused him to miss 14 of the last 18 games of the season. It put a damper on what had been a bounce-back season for the 31-year-old Braun, who hit .285 with 25 home runs, 84 RBIs and 24 stolen bases.

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