After severely bruising his right wrist while crashing into the center-field wall to make a catch last Sunday, Gonzalez was in the starting lineup for Friday's 3-2 victory but went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and felt increasing pain in the wrist.
The Rockies' leadoff hitter, Gonzalez is uncertain whether he will play on Saturday -- the day shortstop Troy Tulowitzki hopes to return after missing four games with a right quadriceps strain.
"It depends on how I feel tomorrow," Gonzalez said. "It's hard, because it's different when you're hitting batting practice. At game speed you have to take it up a little bit."
Gonzalez took batting practice in Atlanta on Wednesday but reported soreness on Thursday and didn't start against the Braves, who completed a four-game sweep and sent the Rockies to their fifth straight loss. The hope was that he would be ready for Friday.
He gave it a shot, but he never hit the ball out of the infield. Two actions were especially painful -- a strikeout on an inside fastball in his second at-bat against Nationals starter John Lannan in the fourth inning, and an unsuccessful attempt at a diving catch on a Mike Morse bloop single to open the ninth.
"I was already in pain, so I can't tell [if it did more damage]," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez, hitting .292 with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs in 84 games, was in enough pain that in the eighth, he tried to bunt because it was too painful to hold the bat and swing.
On his normal left-handed swing -- one that won the National League batting title last year and was heating up before the injury this year -- Gonzalez lets go with the top hand so that the right hand absorbs the force of both the follow-through and stopping the follow-through.
"The more I swung, the more I was in pain later in the game," he said.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less