LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- When Chipper Jones awoke Friday morning, he was immediately reminded that he was less than one day removed from having played defense for the first time in nearly seven months.
While his surgically repaired left knee seemed fine, his hamstrings, quads and other muscles he had forgotten he possessed were reminding him that he's about seven weeks away from celebrating his 39th birthday.
"You can't simulate playing a game," Jones said. "You can go out and work out and do everything you think is going to prepare you for a game, and it just doesn't work. ... During the game, you're doing squat after squat after squat."
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Fortunately, Jones arrived at the stadium Friday without any reason to be concerned about his left knee, which was surgically repaired in August after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament.
"The knee is fine," Jones said. "I didn't have any more or less fluid in my knee than I have any other morning."
With his knee fine and the rest of his body simply producing expected soreness, Jones was 1-for-4 as the designated hitter in Friday's loss to the Blue Jays. His sharp fourth-inning single put him in position to score on a David Ross two-run single.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Jones might serve as the DH again Saturday and then return to play defense again Sunday. But Gonzalez left open the possibility that Jones could play third base as soon as Saturday.