PHILADELPHIA – Chipper Jones has played for nearly two months with a torn meniscus in his right knee, but the pain got to the point where he couldn’t manage it any longer and the timing was right for surgery.
The Braves placed Jones on the disabled list Saturday morning and he underwent arthroscopic surgery on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta performed by Dr. Marvin Royster. Jones is expected to miss two to three weeks.
Jones will take advantage of four days over the All-Star break toward his recovery time. Jones will miss Tuesday’s All-Star game in Phoenix. He was selected to the National League team for the seventh time in his career, this time by player vote.
“I think the timing was perfect for him to get this done and we get him the rest of the way and fresh legs and healthy,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
The knee has bothered Jones more while hitting right-handed, so the Braves decided to go ahead with the surgery on Saturday when the Braves were faced Phillies left-hander Cliff Lee, with left-hander Cole Hamels on deck for Sunday.
Jones flew back to Atlanta Saturday morning. The Braves recalled infielder Brandon Hicks from Triple-A Gwinnett to take his place on the roster.
“I just didn’t want to play through it all summer and have something go wrong in September and have to miss the playoffs,” Jones said in a text message from Atlanta.
Jones received a cortisone shot in his knee last Sunday and hadn’t seen any significant improvement since then.
“It’s not getting any better and the shot didn’t do anything for me,” Jones had said after Friday’s game in Philadelphia.
Jones has been trying to play through the pain while the Braves are going without left fielder Martin Prado, who’s been out since early June following staph infection surgery. But Prado is progressing on a minor league rehabilitation assignment and gearing up for a return after the All-Star break.
“Hopefully it’s short term and we can get him back at a pretty fast time table and be ready to go the last month and a half,” Gonzalez said. “Instead of keep grinding it out and all of a sudden it becomes worse and we lose him for a month.”
Jones originally hoped to avoid surgery since he could play five to six days a week comfortably with the aid of cortisone. But the latest shot wasn’t nearly as effective as the first shot he received on May 15.
“Dr. Royster told Chipper he had no idea how he was playing on this knee,” Jones’ agent B.B. Abbott said in a text message Saturday afternoon. “Surgery went very well.”