Chipper playing it safe with oblique injury

Chipper playing it safe with oblique injury

Chipper playing it safe with oblique injury
SAN FRANCISCO -- Chipper Jones does not seem to be too concerned about his sore left oblique muscle. But as he prepares for the final month of his storied career and one last chance to help the Braves reach the postseason, he is not going to risk aggravating the ailment.

"It's not anything that will keep me out a week or two as long as I am smart with it," Jones said.

Jones initially felt some discomfort when he fouled a pitch delivered by Giants left-handed reliever Javier Lopez in the ninth inning of Friday night's loss. The 40-year-old third baseman completed the at-bat in cautious fashion. But he was left out of the starting lineup for the final two games of this weekend's series.

"[Braves head athletic trainer Jeff Porter] seems to think it's progressing well and maybe in a day or two," manager Fredi Gonzalez said when asked when Jones might return to the lineup.

Jones seemed hopeful that he will be able to return to his regular duties either Monday or Tuesday against the Padres.

Jones was unavailable to pinch-hit during Saturday's win over the Giants. But based on the improvement he realized overnight, he returned to the ballpark Sunday with a sense that he might be able to come off the bench if necessary.

After completing his first three plate appearances from the left side of the plate during Friday night's game, Jones turned around to the right side to face Lopez in the ninth inning. He felt a slight pull in his left side when he fouled a pitch down the left-field line. The at-bat concluded with him taking a weak, protective swing that produced an infield popup.