LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Chipper Jones had pain in his surgically repaired left knee during Saturday’s workout, but the veteran third baseman said it felt good Sunday and again Monday.
He’s six months removed from anterior-cruciate ligament reconstruction.
“I haven’t had two bad days in a row,” said Jones, who reported to camp early and has had no restrictions during his first week of workouts.
If he’s not ready to play Saturday, Jones said he probably would be by the middle of next week. He plans to be in the Braves’ lineup opening day March 31 at Washington, D.C.
“I think it’s right where it’s supposed to be,” Gonzalez said of Jones’ condition. “I think he’s been out here seven days and really only had one bad day, and that bad day was still pretty good. So I’m very encouraged.”
Martin Prado took ground balls at third base again Monday. He’ll move from left field to third base as Jones’ backup whenever needed. Prado was an All-Star second baseman last season.
“Prado’s not going to play left field the rest of his career,” Gonzalez said. ” So he’s going to have to take some ground balls, be ready when Chipper gets a day off or something. Same thing for [Eric] Hinske. We’re going to primarily use him as a pinch-hitter, but when we need to get him four at-bats we can run him out there at first base or out there in left field.”
Pitching plans unveiled Tuesday
Gonzalez plans to announce his pitching plans Tuesday for at least the first three or four games of the Grapefruit League season. The Braves open their spring-training schedule Saturday against the New York Mets at Port St. Lucie, Fla. The same teams play Sunday in the Braves’ home opener at Champion Stadium.