Chipper Jones returned to the Braves’ dugout in full uniform Friday night for the first time since undergoing season-ending knee surgery less than two weeks ago.
Tired of watching the Braves from home and healthy enough to move around in the dugout as necessary, Jones said he wants to do whatever he can to support the team.
“Sitting all week on the couch and watching games is not conducive to me staying sane,” said Jones, who watched the Braves go 2-4 on this past road trip in Chicago and Colorado. “I’d rather have my finger on the pulse of what’s going on, talking to guys and helping any way I can.”
Jones has been off crutches since shortly after his surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament, but he has progressed to the point where not only is he walking around well but riding a stationary bike. On Friday was to have his stitches removed.
“I’m moving around, feeling good,” said Jones, who will attempt a comeback with the Braves next spring training.
Jones was mobile enough to get out of the way of foul balls in the dugout, or teammates bumping into him. He spent Friday afternoon behind the batting cage, watching Braves hitters, not far from hitting coach Terry Pendleton. He wants to be another resource to his teammates, whether it’s a pointer about their mechanics or just a reference about a pitcher’s repertoire.
Jones said he plans to stay with the team from here on out, both in games at Turner Field and on the road.