Oblique keeps Chipper out of WBC

Updated: March 15, 2009, 10:58 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

MIAMI -- Chipper Jones left the United States team at the World Baseball Classic and headed to Orlando to be examined after he aggravated an injury to his side.

"It's a strain of the oblique," Jones said. "It's something you have to get off of for four or five days and go from there. This is something you don't want lingering. If you take care of it now, I certainly don't see there being any problems going forward.

"It's something that's really bugging me and progressively getting worse. ... I felt it coming on in Canada. This was pain. This was cutting-off-my-swing pain."

Jones, who is 0-for-10 with six strikeouts in the WBC, was replaced as the designated hitter by Derek Jeter for Sunday's game against the Netherlands.

Jones left last Sunday's game against Venezuela after five innings because of the injury. He missed a game Wednesday and went 0-for-3 Saturday in an 11-1 seven-inning loss to Puerto Rico that left the Americans one defeat from elimination. The Americans won 9-3 on Sunday to stay alive and eliminate the Dutch.

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun left Sunday's game with a similar injury to Jones'. It was announced that he had a sore side, but no further details were immediately available.

Jones was asked if the will be healthy for the Braves on Opening Day.

"I hope so as long as we take care of it now and don't come back too soon and have this linger," he said. "This is one of those things that can linger, especially for a switch hitter."

Jones said the injury didn't bother him "much at all" during the U.S. loss to Puerto Rico.

"It wasn't anything that really [that] I said I need to sit down," he said. "But today it was a couple of guys saw me grab it after a swing -- they pulled me aside and said 'don't mess with this.' It's worse than what it was in Canada.

"I don't know that it wouldn't have happened in Orlando [at spring training]. ... When I take an at-bat in spring training I'm no less aggressive than I was here. ... I think myself and Dustin Pedroia will tell you this can happen at any point. I'm not a big proponent of blasting the WBC because somebody gets hurt."

Jones had to say goodbye to players he had formed a bond with.

"They were disappointed as much as I was, as [they] were where when Dustin left," he said. "There's nobody else who wants to be out there more than he and I. Unfortunately our bodies haven't allowed us to do it this time around."

Neither Jones nor Pedroia can be replaced during this second round. Only catchers can be replaced during a round. The players can be replaced if the U.S. advances to the next round in Los Angeles.

Information from ESPN.com's Amy K. Nelson and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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