Braves say Chipper Jones will play again this season

Updated: September 15, 2006, 12:16 AM ET
Associated Press

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves put third baseman Chipper Jones on the 15-day disabled list Thursday night so their insurance company will pay a portion of his $13.6 million salary.

Chipper Jones

Jones hasn't played since sustaining another strain to his oblique muscle on his left side Sept. 3. The move was made retroactive to Sept. 4.

General manager John Schuerholz insisted the 1999 NL MVP could return early next week.

"He will not be out for the rest of the year," Schuerholz said. "He'll be eligible to return on Tuesday. If his side heals, we'll be ready to go."

Before Atlanta's 4-1 victory over Philadelphia, the switch-hitting Jones said he still feels pain when swinging from the right side of the plate.

"Whenever I go to really fire down on a baseball, it feels pretty bad," Jones said. "Left-handed, I feel OK. Of course, I don't swing and miss in batting practice. That's the part that I worry about the most."

Jones is batting .318 with 23 homers and 79 RBI. Earlier this season, he became only the fourth player to hit at least 20 homers in each of his first 12 seasons -- joining Hall of Famers Eddie Mathews, Billy Williams and Frank Robinson.

The Braves begin a seven-game road trip to Washington and Colorado on Monday.

"We still are playing teams who are in the race," Jones said. "Houston, that last series, may still be in it. We're going to [honor] the integrity of the game. We're going to go out there and field our best team and play hard. If I'm able to play, I'll play."

A third strain to his oblique muscle, however, would end Jones' season.

"If I do it again, then I'll shut down," he said. "But if I'm able to go out there and throw the ball across the infield, hit from both sides of the plate, I'll play."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press