MIAMI -- If the Braves are going to make a run and put themselves back in legitimate playoff contention, they are going to need Chipper Jones. But when they go to Philadelphia for an important three-game series against the Phillies this weekend, they might be without their veteran third baseman.
Jones exited Wednesday night's 9-4 win over the Marlins with a strained left hamstring, and he's facing the possibility of making his first trip to the disabled list this season.
"It's sore right now," Jones said. "I don't know what the timetable is going to be. Hamstrings are a little more delicate than [quadriceps muscles] or groins. They really affect you when you do any kind of running."
Jones, who has avoided the disabled list thus far in 2008 despite suffering strains to his right quadriceps and right groin, will be re-evaluated after having a chance to rest during his team's scheduled off-day on Thursday.
"Chipper has a day off to rest tomorrow, and then we'll see how he is," manager Bobby Cox said while showing concern for Jones.
Jones, who leads the Majors with a .369 batting average, sustained the injury while attempting to beat out a two-out grounder in the fourth inning. He felt the pull midway down the baseline, and when he stepped on first base, he immediately grabbed the hamstring and hobbled into the outfield grass.
After being briefly evaluated by Braves head athletic trainer Jeff Porter, Jones slowly made his way back toward the dugout.
"Hopefully, it will be better," said catcher Brian McCann, who participated in last week's All-Star Game with Jones. "But it looked bad."
This had been the healthiest season Jones had experienced since 2003. Since the start of the 2004 season, he has made six trips to the disabled list, none of which were the result of a left hamstring injury. He was on the 15-day disabled list from April 19 to May 8, 2004, with a strained right hamstring.
"This isn't nearly as bad as on the one in 2004," Jones said.
Entering Wednesday, Jones had played in 88 of the Braves' 100 games. His longest absence came June 21-30, when he was out of the starting lineup for eight games with the strained right quad.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.