Back spasms force Jones to sit

Updated: July 9, 2010, 11:58 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Blame a bad bed for Chipper Jones' back trouble.

Jones was a late scratch from the Atlanta Braves' lineup Friday night because of back spasms. He said he woke up with the problem Thursday morning after his first night in a New York hotel.

"Luckily it was yesterday because it's improved, " Jones said after the Braves beat the New York Mets 4-2. "Hopefully, if I get some more improvement overnight then we'll strap it up tomorrow."

Jones said he had about four hours of treatment Friday and hit off a tee but was not ready to play. In fact, manager Bobby Cox used pitcher Tim Hudson for the first pinch-hitting appearance of his career in the eighth inning with Jones on the bench.

"That situation, where Huddy pinch-hit, he could've used me but he didn't want to risk losing me for tomorrow," Jones said. "I'll come in early and take some swings in the cage and if it's to the point where I can turn it loose, I'll play."

And what is he going to do to help his back Friday night?

"Sleep on the floor," Jones said.

Last month, while struggling mightily, the 38-year-old Jones raised the idea of retirement but has since backtracked and said he'll wait until the end of the season to consider calling it a career.

Jones' numbers have improved but are still off his career totals that include the 1999 NL MVP and a batting title two years ago.

He's hitting .253 with six homers and 33 RBIs. He was 4-for-12 with a homer in the Braves' three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies earlier this week.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press