Chipper optimistic about chances to return before April 13

Eight days removed from arthroscopic knee surgery, Chipper Jones took his first swings in batting practice Tuesday afternoon and felt good enough to start trying to talk his way back into action earlier than expected.

He and the Braves have been projecting the home opener April 13 against the Brewers for his return, since Jones’ left knee surgery on Monday, March 26. But after taking nearly 60 swings pain-free on Tuesday, Jones thinks he might be able to do better than that.

“Aiming for (April 13), but optimistic that it might be a little sooner than that,” Jones said. “We’ll just have to see how the next week goes.”

Jones will travel with the Braves to New York on Wednesday and begin to intensify his work in the field after taking 20 groundballs Tuesday. At the plate, though, Jones said he couldn’t be happier with how he comfortable he felt, and that was while using Brian McCann’s bats.

“I was afraid that the swing might have gone somewhere over the last eight days but if it did slip away it hasn’t slipped too far,” Jones said. “I was very pleased with the way the ball was coming off the bat. I was staying inside the ball, hitting the ball to all fields. And I had no pain, so that’s the most important thing.”

Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Tuesday the Braves might send Jones out to get in a minor league rehabilitation game or two, when he’s ready. Jones would prefer not to but said he would.

“Hopefully I’ll have some big strides here in the next three or four days,” Jones said. “But the bottom line is I’m going to have to prove to these guys that I can go out swing, run the bases, and go all out on defense.”

As optimistic as he is, Jones said he didn’t think he’d be ready to pinch hit in the Mets series.

“As I sit here right now I would say no,” Jones said. “Swinging in bp is one thing but coming out of the box is a completely different thing, especially left-handed where that’s kind of my turn-and-burn leg. I don’t really know if I’m quite at that point yet.”

40 comments Add your comment

Runner-

April 3rd, 2012
8:02 pm

Greene Hornet

April 3rd, 2012
8:28 pm

Runner, I agree completely and second you words… GO BRAVES!

Uncle Willie

April 3rd, 2012
8:38 pm

God bless ‘em — spent his whole career with the Braves. Maybe his time would be better spent evaluating new talent hitting rather than holding fort over a base beyond his years.

Mako

April 3rd, 2012
8:45 pm

So, old Achy Breaky says he’ll be back next week…..at this rate he’ll play about 85 games…not bad work if you can get it (hey, Lovers back off….I’m keeping my agreement……no Slipper or Chumper comments)

Younger Than That Now

April 3rd, 2012
8:47 pm

Chipper has earned the right to finish on his terms… and 70% of Chipper is still better than 100% of most!

GO BRAVES!!

otis

April 3rd, 2012
8:48 pm

tear it up Chipper. Show them what a real ball player is.

Dumbo

April 3rd, 2012
8:49 pm

BURPPPPPPPPP…….he won’t make it………………….burp!

Wayne stuck in AL

April 3rd, 2012
8:54 pm

And I’m optimistic Larry Wayne will be on the DL one more time this season.

bruce

April 3rd, 2012
9:01 pm

good story, good news too!

427

April 3rd, 2012
9:11 pm

Can’t wait to see him scoop up those balls in the hot corner! The Braves are going to suck away this year (and years to come). Might as well forfeit the season for good ole Chip.

Rafael

April 3rd, 2012
9:18 pm

Ian Kinsler, Matt Cain, and Joey Votto sign MULTIYEAR extensions with their respective clubs.

It’s OBVIOUS that Liberty CHEAPIA does NOT own the Rangers, Giants, or Reds. Those clubs have ownership that wants to WIN and KEEPS their stars.

Enjoy Michael Bourn while you still can. With Liberty CHEAPIA, Michael Bourn is GONE… HISTORY!!!!

Wren will offer up excuses all year how “we tried” to sign Bourn; however, in the end the Braves and Liberty CHEAPIA have NO intention of signing the Scott Boras client.

Wren thinks he so smart replacing Bourn with the “next” Matt Diaz (an “AFFORDABLE” player which translates to a CHEAP BUM).

Other clubs SIGN their stars to EXTENSIONS. With Liberty CHEAPIA, you NOTICE the Braves sign NONE of their stars to Extensions. Get used to it.

Until the fans STOP flocking to Turner Field like sheep to enjoy their 33% OFF concessions, the “Bargain Basement” system of Baseball will continue. Liberty CHEAPIA sure puts money into QVC (one of their MANY holdings) but NOT the Braves.

This once great franchise will be driven down to a Houston Astros state… then Liberty CHEAPIA will sell the team to an owner who wants to improve the team and win. An owner who will actually spend some money on players. Until then, our Braves can’t (WON’T) compete financially with other clubs.

Enjoy Matt Diaz as our STARTING LF. It’s SAD to say “Double Play” Matt Diaz will be here years LONGER than star Michael Bourn.

phil

April 3rd, 2012
9:26 pm

Rafael = moron

Get well quickly, chipper! Sounds good so far.

Joe Adcock

April 3rd, 2012
9:34 pm

Go Chipper! Go Braves! Go “Dung” Durbin!! Go Fruiti. Somewhere else! Please. Fans are begging you. Must be “Spring Fever” or something…

Ralph

April 3rd, 2012
9:42 pm

Take your time Chipper, we don’t need you, we have Fatscisco!

TooSlim73

April 3rd, 2012
9:45 pm

…very nice Greene Hornet.

The failed firstie Hall of Fame is legendary.

…take notes wanna be firstie types.

You will incur the wrath of TooSlim73, I’m relentless and will embarrass you until either stop or just go way forever.

phil

April 3rd, 2012
9:53 pm

Tooslim73 – seek immediate help first thing tomorrow.

Braveslog

April 3rd, 2012
9:57 pm

Of course we need Chipper back, but I’m excited to see what Francisco can do the meantime. This kid can flat out play. Check out some of these highlights:

http://braveslog.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/francisco-thats-a-fun-name/

Coach

April 3rd, 2012
10:04 pm

Rafael,

I’m sorry the psch meds you picked up at CVS are not working. We should get a stronger prescription with more times during the day to take it. You are not a true braves fan, I think every blogger on here can see that. Hey, did you get my post a few days ago about creating your own website to Matt Diaz and stop wasting blogspace for the dedicated braves fans. Dude, did Matt Diaz bitchslap you when you were in elementary school? Did he steal your lunch money? Wait, you got pissed when he asked you where are the other three turtles, right? Your last name wouldn’t be Soriano would it?

Coach

April 3rd, 2012
10:10 pm

My evening was going great until I see that Rafael has posted on this link. I’m contacting MLB.com and I’m going to tell them that Matt Diaz is Rafael’s childhood hero and that he wants to be like Matt Diaz. Maybe they’ll setup a surprise meet and greet, if Rafael isn’t in jail for the terroristic threats warrants that he has out on him.

[...] Source: ajc.com [...]

TooSlim73

April 3rd, 2012
10:43 pm

Thanks Phil …Sorry you’ve never had a firstie …you have no idea what the Green Hornet even did there.

Tip O' the Cap

April 3rd, 2012
10:47 pm

Nice. So the Futures gave the regulars a run for their money. Maybe there is hope after all — for the Futures!

Chris

April 3rd, 2012
10:48 pm

He’s going to get his money.

Steve

April 3rd, 2012
11:25 pm

Good news. Hope Chipper can come back early. It would help the offense.

Fats OKelly

April 4th, 2012
12:34 am

Bones should not rush this. Get old like he is and you might break more bones getting out of that rockin chair too fast! :)

Jo

April 4th, 2012
8:26 am

Rafael makes some good points. BUT the main point here is that while Chippers 14M and the 10M were payn Lowe while hes in Cleveland will come off the book and be funds available for next year. It also must be acknowledged that McCann will need a new contract as will Prado which will more than likely be a raise from this year. Also O’Flaherty who got Arb this year will see his salary increase. In addition, Freeman, Venters, Kimbrel will soon become Arb eligible and/or need to be signed to a significantly higher salary. So essentially atlanta probably cant afford to sign Bourne to a contract unless it was a modest increase from what hes making now

Fed Up Fan

April 4th, 2012
9:51 am

Chipper Jones, in his prime, was a great player. But that was long ago. If he really wanted to help the team, he would retire immediately.

Chipper's wallet

April 4th, 2012
9:53 am

Hey man, stop saying he should retire. I’m enjoying all this money that you stupid fans spend supporting this mediocre organization.

MikeY

April 4th, 2012
9:56 am

Next year we have options for McCann ($12M) and Hudson ($9M), about the same as they earn in 2012; I would hope the Braves pick those up. Venters, Medlin, Hanson, Martinez, and Heyward will be arb-eligible for the first time. Prado, O’Flaherty, and Jurrjens will be in their third and final year of arbitration. Also, we will have free agents in Hinske, Ross, Diaz, Hernandez, Durbin, Jack Wilson, and Bourn. With Chipper retiring and Lowe off the books, and all the FAs. we free up about $38M. We will owe maybe $15M in arb increases/first time arb-eligibles increases. So that leaves about $23M for re-signing FAs, new FAs.

https://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=tujElf32-2d237jk3IzWLsg&output=html

[...] Jones underwent knee surgery just eight days ago, but the future Hall of Famer told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he hopes to be back in the Braves’ lineup at some [...]

E

April 4th, 2012
11:03 am

A bunch of you need to calm the F down and take a few shots of whiskey.

Plus, you’re about as smart as a retard. If we’re in 4th/5th place come july 1st, then you can bitch.

Ralph

April 4th, 2012
11:08 am

MikeY

we will have free agents in Hinske, Ross, Diaz, Hernandez, Durbin, Jack Wilson, and Bourn

Only one of those I would try to sign would be Bourn.

cranbery

April 4th, 2012
11:15 am

Wonderful news……….can’t wait to see him back where he belongs……….on the field!

Fats OKelly

April 4th, 2012
11:21 am

Get Bones Jones some WD-40 to spray on his joints when he gets back. Just kiddin Bones :)

[...] Chipper Jones optimistic about making it back for Atlanta’s home opener. The 39-year old Jones underwent knee surgery last [...]

CONNIE MACK

April 4th, 2012
1:09 pm

WELL, HE ALWAYS SAID..”I AM A QUICK HEALER”..QUOTE FROM DOB 2 YRS AGO…..HAHAHAHAHAHA

Martini & Rossy

April 4th, 2012
1:15 pm

Bernie

April 4th, 2012
2:49 pm

The Braves with Liberty as owners will never compete with the other clubs. Besides the current group of players can’t hit Wrenn new it and did nothing to improve the offense. I agree Wrenn has no intentions of signing Bourn to a long term deal. So therefore Braves fans don’t expect a lot this year. They will be a mediocre team with a so so defensive team and no offense at all.

[...] Jones is optimistic that he can return from the DL in mid-April. Jones should have retired at the beginning of this year instead of at the end. Jones is a risk in [...]

Jo Nicca

April 4th, 2012
4:27 pm

We will owe maybe $15M in arb increases/first time arb-eligibles increases. So that leaves about $23M for re-signing FAs, new FAs.

NO way only 15 Mil in increases from Jurrgens, Prado, O’Flaherty, Heyward, Hanson, Medlen, Venters, Martinez. Not to mentions the Braves will have to replace Ross, Diaz, Hinske, Wilson (essentially the entire bench)

As i said however, atlanta will have to consider when to sign Freeman, Kimbrel, Venters, Minor, Beachy, long term. Given that Jurrjens and Hanson are Boras clients i dont see them staying in ATL. Probably same for Bourn

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