Chipper encouraged after facing live pitching

Chipper encouraged after facing live pitching

NEW YORK -- Chipper Jones was encouraged by how his surgically repaired left knee reacted as he batted against Braves teammate Randall Delgado during a simulated game at Citi Field on Friday afternoon.

Jones said he felt "real good" as he took swings against live pitching for the first time since undergoing surgery on March 26 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. The veteran third baseman, who will turn 40 on April 24, remains confident he will be activated from the disabled list before the April 13 home opener against the Brewers.

In fact, Jones believes he "will be ready physically" by Tuesday, when he becomes eligible to be activated from the disabled list. But he understands he may need a few additional days to begin timing fastballs again.

Jones had compiled just 25 at-bats during the exhibition season before injuring his knee on March 22, less than two hours before making his already-planned announcement that he will retire at the conclusion of this season.

The Braves seem to be in favor of having Jones play at least one Minor League rehab game before being activated. There is a chance he could play for Class A Rome when it hosts Charleston in its home opener on Thursday. Veteran pitcher Tim Hudson is already expected to start that game as part of his own rehab assignment.