LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Chipper Jones and Dr. Marvin Royster convened Monday for another knee surgery on the Braves third baseman, who had a successful arthroscopic procedure for torn meniscus and hopes to be back for the April 13 home opener against Milwaukee.
“So far, so good,” Jones said in a text message to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “A little groggy.”
It was the sixth knee surgery for Jones, who announced last week he would retire after the 2012 season, his 19th in the majors. The future Hall of Famer, who’ll be 40 next month, has played his entire career with the Braves and is the only switch-hitter in major league history with at least a .300 average and 450 home runs.
Jones injured his left knee during a stretching drill on Thursday, only about an hour before a previously scheduled press conference in which he announced this would be his final season as a player. He returned to Atlanta for the surgery.
“Brutal,” Braves backup catcher David Ross said of the timing of the injury. “I feel bad for the guy.”
Jones said after Monday’s surgery he should be able to resume baseball activities next week and planned to accompany the team on its season-opening trip to New York and Houston. The Braves open against the Mets on April 5.
Last summer he had arthroscopic surgery for torn meniscus in his right knee, which forced him to miss the All-Star game after he was selected for the seventh time. He returned to the lineup 17 days after that surgery.
Jones has twice had major reconstructive surgery on his left knee after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament as a rookie in 1994 and again in 2010. Royster did both of those surgeries and the other, less-invasive procedures.
Hanson handles Triple-A lineup
With the Braves off Monday, Tommy Hanson pitched five strong innings against an Astros Triple-A team, allowing two hits and one run with no walks in six strikeouts. He threw 69 pitches in his fourth start since returning from a Grade 1 concussion that kept him out of the first 10 days of spring training workouts.
It was the only off day of the Grapefruit League schedule for the Braves, who have eight games left in Florida before they break camp and return to Atlanta for an exhibition game against their top prospects April 3 at Triple-A Gwinnett County’s Coolray Field.
The Braves plan to start an undisclosed minor league pitcher in Tuesday’s Grapefruit League game against the Mets, since they don’t want to use a starting pitcher who’ll appear in the first regular-season series.