Notes: Giles diagnosed with acid reflux

Notes: Giles diagnosed with acid reflux

NEW YORK -- Marcus Giles won't need to undergo heart surgery. In fact, the veteran second baseman could be back in the Braves lineup by Tuesday.

When Giles left Philadelphia on Saturday night, he was admittedly scared about his health. But after undergoing a series of stress tests in Atlanta on Sunday, it was determined that his chest discomfort was simply a result of acid reflux.

"The good news is he's fine and he's been cleared to play," Braves general manager John Schuerholz said.

Giles arrived at Shea Stadium shortly before the start of Monday night's game against the Mets. After the 5-0 Braves win, he spoke of the relief he felt after learning that he's not dealing with a cardiovascular problem.

When he returns to Atlanta on Thursday, he'll visit team physician Norman Elliott, who will determine if Giles is definitely suffering from acid reflux. That was the diagnosis of Dr. John Cantwell, a noted cardiologist, who put Giles through the tests on Sunday.

"It's definitely comforting," Giles said. "It's a big relief for me and my family. The next thing is to just find out what's going on down there. But the bottom line is I don't think we're talking about anything too serious."

Although he's been given the clearance to play, it seems Braves manager Bobby Cox may want to wait at least another day before putting his 26-year-old second baseman back in the lineup.

"I'll have to talk to him," Cox said. "He went through a hell of a scare."

Giles began feeling tightness in his chest and abdominal area after taking a gulp of a soft drink early Saturday morning. After reporting to Citizens Bank Park a few hours later, he was evaluated by Braves trainer Jeff Porter, who sent him to a Philadelphia hospital for further evaluation.

When Giles returned late Saturday night, he informed the team that he'd been told he might need to undergo a surgical procedure, during which a valve in his heart would need to be stapled shut. At that time, the club sent him back to Atlanta to be evaluated by cardiologist Dr. John Cantwell.

"As far as we're concerned, our doctor examined him and eliminated unequivocally any heart defects," Schuerholz said.

As Schuerholz spoke to the media early Monday evening, it was apparent that he felt that this story had been unnecessarily blown out of proportion. Because of federal employment laws, the club wasn't allowed to speak about Giles' condition.

Because it was a non-baseball related ailment, Giles was the only individual allowed to initially speak about his condition. Thus his explanation was the only one provided before Monday.

"[The story] took on a life of its own unnecessarily," Schuerholz said.

Schuerholz provided a sarcastic comment while responding to a reporter's comment that Giles's condition is certainly much different from the one reported this weekend.

"I didn't go to medical school, but I can tell you there's a big difference," Schuerholz said.

Sitting and waiting again: When Chipper Jones aggravated his strained left oblique muscle on Sunday night, he immediately knew that he'd miss at least a week. But if the Braves aren't able to stay in the postseason hunt, the injury-plagued veteran third baseman may opt to miss most of the remainder of this season.

"A lot is going to depend on how we do over the next week to 10 days," Jones said. "Obviously, if we win some ballgames and get close, yeah, it's going to be tough to sit. ... But if we're still five or six games back, I'll be more inclined to let this thing fully heal."

When Jones strained the same oblique on July 21, he attempted to resume playing too quickly and aggravated the injury exactly one week later. He says it took at least 10 more days before he was confident he'd be ready when he became eligible to come off the disabled list.

"I hope it doesn't take that long," Jones said. "But like I said [Sunday], it felt worse yesterday than it did before."

Gunning them down: Dating to back to his big-league debut on July 7, 2005, Jeff Francoeur has registered 23 assists. During that span, that ranks as the highest total for all Major League outfielders.

Francoeur recorded his 10th outfield assist of the season during the second game of Sunday's doubleheader against the Phillies. Among all outfielders this season, he's tied for second with Minnesota's Michael Cuddyer, trailing only Colorado's Brad Hawpe, who has 14.

Braves bits: As of early Monday evening, Cox still hadn't determined whether he'd bring Kyle Davies or Oscar Villarreal back on short rest to start Wednesday afternoon's game against the Mets. ... Anthony Lerew was optioned back to Triple-A Richmond on Monday. With Richmond's season now complete, he won't pitch again until the Arizona Fall League begins.

Coming Up: The Braves will continue their three-game series against the Mets on Tuesday night. John Smoltz (12-7, 3.60) will oppose Dave Williams (4-3, 6.10), with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.