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Chipper back in Braves' starting lineup

Chipper back in starting lineup

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SAN FRANCISCO -- While watching the Braves score just two runs in Monday's series-opening loss to the Giants, Chipper Jones gained even more motivation to return to the lineup as soon as possible.

But before declaring himself healthy enough to perform full-time duties against Tim Lincecum and the Giants at AT&T Park on Tuesday night, Jones performed some running exercises that gave him confidence that he could prove effective while battling through the remaining discomfort in his sprained right big toe.

"I'll be treading lightly, but I feel like I can play," said Jones, who had been limited to two pinch-hit at-bats since suffering the painful toe injury during the sixth inning of Thursday's game against the Rockies.

While Jones was deemed ready to return to the lineup, the Braves will wait at least one more day before putting Yunel Escobar back at the shortstop position. Escobar has missed four straight starts with a strained right hip flexor. Manager Bobby Cox believes his 26-year-old shortstop will be back in the lineup before the Braves begin a four-game series against the Diamondbacks on Thursday.

Recognizing that he's still not back at full strength, Jones said that he would be cautious while running the basepaths. But at the same time, he didn't believe his current condition would limit his range at third base. He wasn't able to confidently make that claim Monday.

"I felt a little better today, and I felt like I can move around a little bit on defense," Jones said. "You're not going to see me stretching any doubles into triples. I just needed that little bit of mobility on defense to be able to play."

In other injury-related news, the Braves have placed Buddy Carlyle on the 15-day disabled list with an upper back strain that has occasionally bothered him since he experienced a collision against the Padres on May 8, 2008.

Carlyle, who has allowed three homers -- including two grand slams -- in his past six innings, was replaced on the active roster by Jorge Campillo, who had been disabled since April 16 with a fatigued right shoulder.

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

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