Chipper and Heyward return
For the first time in a week, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was able to put both Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward in the same lineup. Now he can only hope Jones exits Tuesday afternoon’s game confident that he will not need to undergo arthroscopic surgery to repair the small meniscus tear in his right knee.
“Two days ago, I was 50 percent,” Jones said. “Yesterday was probably 80 and I’m better than I was yesterday. Feeling good today, I would rather go out and test it against a lefty today as opposed to going on the road out to the west coast and finding out it’s not OK and having fly all the way back and have surgery.”
Jones was skeptical when Braves doctors told him he might be able to avoid undergoing the surgery. The 39-year-old third baseman said Sunday and Monday that he feared he might be delaying the inevitable by simply trying to medicate the ailment with the cortisone injections he received after Sunday’s MRI exam showed the small meniscus tear.
Thus before the Braves embarked on a seven-game road trip that includes stops in Arizona, Anaheim and Pittsburgh, Jones felt it was best to test the knee.
Jones also thought it was best to test the knee while batting from the right side against Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez today. Most of the discomfort he has felt over the past three weeks has been felt while batting from the right side.
While Jones missed just two games, Heyward missed six starts after leaving last Tuesday’s game against the Nationals. Having had nearly a week to rest his sore right shoulder, Heyward returned confident it would not prove to be a problem.
“It feels the way it should,” Heyward said.