Chipper Jones said no to a rehab assignment in the minors and could play as soon as today vs. Houston.
HOUSTON — Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones expects to come off the disabled list when he’s eligible to today.
Jones and a number of Braves took early batting practice Monday before the start of their three-game series against the Houston Astros. Jones took more than 100 swings and also took ground balls in the almost one-hour workout.
“(My injury has) progressively gotten better and while I’ve had some sore days along the way, (Monday) I feel great,” he said. “I did what I had to do to prove that I can go out there (today).”
Jones, who turns 40 later this month, opened the season on the DL following surgery March 26 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He missed the Braves’ opener for the first time in 19 seasons.
He went through the rigorous workout as a test to make sure he’s ready to play. Jones did not want to go on a minor league rehabilitation assignment and officials let him opt out of making one.
“I just thought it was a waste of time,” he said. “Six at-bats in the minors is not going to help me. You might as well just throw me back into the fire.”
The switch-hitter, who plans to retire at the end of this season, looked good and didn’t appear to be in any pain as he alternated batting from each side.
Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez was encouraged after watching the workout. Jones also took live batting practice from Atlanta pitcher Randall Delgado on Friday in preparation for his return.
“He looked good,” Gonzalez said of Jones on Monday. “He feels like he’s fine, so I think with a guy that has 10,000 plate appearances, you can kind of take his word for it.”
The seven-time All-Star hit .275 with 18 home runs and 70 RBIs in 126 games last season.