Chipper Jones goes on DL with sprained ankle, knee

Updated: April 10, 2006, 10:32 PM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones went on the 15-day disabled list Monday because of a sprained right knee and ankle, but the injury wasn't as severe as the Braves feared.

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Atlanta Braves

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Jones was injured Sunday when he charged in on Mike Matheny's slow roller in the eighth inning of Atlanta's 6-5 loss to the San Francisco Giants.

The Braves held their home opener against the Philadelphia Phillies without one of their most dangerous hitters, who has been plagued by injuries in recent years. This is the third straight season that Jones has gone on the DL.

Jones underwent an MRI on his knee and an X-ray of his ankle. The examination showed both were merely sprained.

"Our doctors say this is an injury that will heal itself," general manager John Schuerholz said. "It just takes time. It may not take quite as much time as 15 days, but we want to make absolutely certain that he's completely healthy before he returns, so we're putting him on the disabled list."

Jones appeared to get his spikes caught in the soggy field and grabbed his right knee as soon as he hit the ground. He rolled around the field in pain, staying down for several minutes before he was helped off.

Initially, Jones thought he had torn his anterior cruciate ligament, flashing back to a similar injury to his left knee in 1994. But he left the stadium with an air cast on his ankle and nothing on his knee.

Before Monday's game, Jones said he didn't think it would be necessary to go on the DL. The Braves decided otherwise, not wanting to risk him coming back too soon.

"I hate to lose him for even one day," Schuerholz said. "But when you look at what occurred and to have this result, it's very positive."

Jones, a five-time All-Star who turns 34 this month, went on the disabled list in 2004 with a strained right hamstring that bothered him much of the year and led to him moving back to third base after two years as a left fielder.

Last season, an injured toe in his left foot put him on the DL for six weeks. He played in just 109 games with 21 homers and 72 RBI -- all career lows.

Second baseman Marcus Giles also left Sunday's game, going out in the seventh with a sore right quadriceps muscle. But he was back in the lineup as the leadoff hitter for the home opener.

Meanwhile, right-handed reliever Blaine Boyer, who was farmed out to Triple-A Richmond last week, was placed on that team's disabled list Monday. He was bothered at the end of last season and most of spring training with an inflamed rotator cuff, but he felt good enough at the end of spring to claim a spot in the Braves bullpen.

But it was quickly clear that Boyer wasn't ready to pitch. He made two appearances, giving up four hits, a walk and three runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press