LAWRENCEVILLE — Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones reported no problems with his surgically repaired left knee after taking batting practice Tuesday.
Jones, who is on the 15-day disabled list following arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus, estimated he took “50 to 60” swings before the Braves played their minor league All-Stars in an exhibition at Triple-A Gwinnett.
“I couldn’t be happier,” he said. “I was pleased with the way the ball came off the bat. I was staying inside the ball and hitting to all fields and had no pain. So that’s the most important thing.”
Jones took about 20 grounders to keep his fielding sharp, but the balls were hit right at him to keep him from trying to move laterally.
Jones, who turns 40 later this month, still hopes to return for Atlanta’s home opener April 13 against Milwaukee. The 1999 NL MVP announced plans two weeks ago to retire at the end of the season. He was injured March 22 at spring training.
“Hopefully I’ll have some big strides in the next four or five days, but I’m going to have to prove to these guys that I can go out and swing, run the bases, play defense and go all out,” Jones said. “When I can do that, I’ll be in there.”
He’s hoping to avoid a minor league rehab appearance.
“I don’t want to,” Jones said, “but I realize that I may be forced to.”