Chipper appears bound for DL with lingering thigh injury

Chipper Jones was batting .400 or better for more than two months this season before going 0-for-4 on June 19.

Now, more than a week after reinjuring a right quadriceps that also limited him in April, the Braves third baseman may be headed for the disabled list.

Jones, who leads the major leagues with a .394 batting average, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution after Sunday's 1-0 loss to the Blue Jays there was a "distinct" possibility the Braves would sideline the 14-year veteran, who already has missed eight straight games since aggravating the thigh injury.

"Bottom line, I'd miss nine or 10 days that, quite frankly, I'm probably going to need," Jones told the newspaper.
"About two days after I hurt it I had some improvement, but I haven't gotten any better since."

Should the Braves place him on the 15-day disabled list, his stay would be retroactive to Thursday. He would be eligible to return July 11.

Jones has battled through the strain for much of the season. He injured the muscle on April 9 in Colorado and felt more soreness as a Braves road trip continued. Jones left a game on April 20 in Atlanta after irritating the injury but started the next day.

The Braves are 4-12 this season when Jones does not start.

"I don't think Chipper is close to playing," Braves manager Bobby Cox said after Sunday's game.

Cox refused to blame injuries for the defeat.

The Braves also were without infielders Yunel Escobar (shoulder) and Omar Infante (hamstring) and outfielder Mark Kotsay (back).

Catcher Brian McCann said the Braves will need Jones' bat to keep their playoff hopes alive.

"Injuries have hurt us," McCann said. "You take Chipper out of any lineup, and it's going to be different. We need him to get healthy for this push."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.