Chipper Jones tweaked an already ailing right knee Monday night and underwent X-rays after the game and an MRI on it Tuesday morning, but he was back in the lineup Tuesday night against the Phillies.
X-rays were negative, Jones said, and the MRI revealed a bone bruise and some fluid in the knee, which he had surgically repaired in July. There is little treatment for it other than rest, and rest is not an option for a team fighting for a wild card spot. So Jones was back in there for the 19th time in the Braves’ past 21 games.
“Can’t quit now,” said Jones, who aggravated his knee running the bases in the sixth inning on Monday night but still went 2-for-4 with a home run and a double. “…I’ve been preaching all along, ‘People are tired. People are hurt. So what? Let’s go. Strap it up.’”
Jones said if it were April, he wouldn’t be playing. As it is, there’s not much he can do other than ice it and try to take it a little easier in batting practice.
Jones said he wanted to have the MRI to find out if there was anything more they could do to treat it. The tests showed his knee is still structurally sound, but without the cartilage removed in his arthroscopic surgery, he said he’s going “bone-on-bone.”
“Bubba (trainer Jeff Porter) said it’d start to feel better around Thanksgiving,” Jones said.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez waited to fill out Tuesday’s lineup before Jones got to the ballpark and told him he was a go. Jones did suggest Gonzalez might pinch run for him late, if his run was meaningful, and if he wasn’t feeling great, Gonzalez might want to replace him in the field in the later innings.
“He doesn’t want to come out of that lineup and I didn’t expect him to,” Gonzalez said. “We’ll adjust that as the game goes on.”
Jones said if the Braves make the playoffs, he might consider a pain injection, but he’s had injections of both cortisone and sodium bicarbonate already to little avail.
Jones also said the pain he’s enduring in his knee has no bearing on his decision to return next season. He has every intention to play out the final guaranteed season of his three-year $42 million contract extension.
“I’m still intent on coming back,” Jones said. “I thoroughly expect to have some problems with it again next year, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”