Chipper Jones realizes his body is aging, but talking about injuries that are keeping him out of the lineup is really getting old.
Jones said he will likely miss the next several games in the regular lineup after straining his right quad muscle Monday in the series opener against the Pirates. It was his first game back from the disabled list after arthroscopic knee surgery on his right knee.
“I feel more frustration than anything,” the Braves 39-year-old third baseman said. “I’m tired of talking about things that are keeping me out of ball games.”
Jones said he was told the injury was a strained muscle that went into spasm. He said following the game there was a six-inch area of his thigh that was raised. Jones described the area as “pretty sore” after undergoing treatment Tuesday.
Jones will continue to get stimulation treatments on the injured area.
“I guess I will pinch hit for a couple of days until I feel like it’s manageable,” Jones said.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the chances of Jones pinch hitting Tuesday were “50-50.”
“You’ve seen it. You’re thinking he is going to be out for two months and three days later he’s in the lineup,” Gonzalez said.
Jones made a pinch-hit appearance in the bottom of the eighth inning Tuesday, grounding out to shortstop.
Jones was injured in the sixth inning when the Pirates’ Neil Walker reached far out to swing at a pitchout and hit a slow roller to third base. Jones fielded the ball and threw across his body for the out at first base. Jones had seen the pitchout sign and relaxed, not expecting the ball to be put in play.
Jones said the muscle continued to tighten throughout the course of the game. After an eighth-inning home run, he came out of the game.
Jones went 2-for-4 Monday with a stolen base in his first game back. In his career, Jones has made 11 return games after coming off the disabled list and has hit .486 (18-for-37) with five home runs, 13 RBIs and 15 runs scored.
Jones has acknowledged his quad muscle had atrophied following the knee surgery and he needed to regain strength in the area. It may have been a cause of the muscle strain but his knee remains sound.
“I ran for them 100 percent as hard as I could before the game,” said Jones of Monday’s pre-game workout before he was activated from the disabled list. “Nothing. If you don’t feel anything and the knee is rock solid you want to go play. If I had been limping for favoring anything during pregame, they weren’t going to let me play. It was a situation where old bodies kind of erode a little bit. For some reason, I can’t keep my leg muscles together.”