Chipper Jones was out of the lineup for the third straight game Thursday night – this time missing his “Bobblehead Night” – since straining his right quadriceps muscle on Monday night. He is likely to miss another day or two.
“Conservatively-speaking yes,” said Jones, who’d like to return sooner but said he’s playing it safe rather than risk it getting worse. “We can ill afford for me to go back on the DL at this point.”
After he pinch hit for the third straight game Thursday night and continued to feel improvement with treatment, it gave Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez cause to believe Jones might be able to return before the weekend series with the Marlins is out.
“We’ll keep evaluating him,” Gonzalez said. “Maybe this weekend we’ll get him in to play.”
Jones underwent an MRI on his right quadriceps muscle Thursday afternoon and said he was told he had “a little blood dispersed throughout the muscle.”
“We’ve just got to take some time to get it out of there,” Jones said.
Based on how it felt, though, he said he was seeing improvement with treatment.
“It’s better than it was a couple days ago,” Jones said. “It’s still sore. Could I play if it was October? Yeah probably. But better to be safe than sorry still at this point in the season.”
Jones injured his quadriceps the night he returned from missing 16 games following arthroscopic knee surgery. He hurt it fielding a ground ball from Neil Walker, who surprised the Braves infielders by swinging at a pitch-out.
Jones has shown good speed running up the first base line during his pinch-hit appearances. But Jones said quick, lateral movements on defense or bursts on the basepaths could be a different story.
“The first time you’ve got to overextend for a ground ball or pop-up behind third base with a guy on third and two out,” Jones said. “You’ve got to go first to third in a big spot or score – all those things can (cause problems.)”