Chipper sits again as leg bruise worsens

Chipper sits again as leg bruise worsens

Chipper sits again as leg bruise worsens
CINCINNATI -- Third baseman Chipper Jones said before Thursday's game against the Reds that his left calf and ankle area feels worse than it did Wednesday when he pinch-hit in the seventh inning of a 2-1 loss.

Jones had the bruised area "milked" in an effort to get some fluid out but it caused some stiffness.

"I'm probably worse off today than yesterday," said Jones, who did not start on Thursday against the Reds. "It's bad timing, too, [with] the first matchup with the Nationals coming up. This is a first for me."

The Braves return home to begin a three-game series against Washington at Turner Field on Friday. The Nationals, who were idle, led the Braves by a half-game in the National League East heading into play on Thursday.

Jones suffered the injury last Friday at Tampa Bay when a sharply hit ground ball by B.J. Upton struck him in the leg. He walked on Wednesday night in his first plate appearance since the injury and was replaced by pinch-runner Tim Hudson.

The injured area is still discolored and Jones has little mobility. Jones said he thought he would miss three or four games, but he is now uncertain as to when he can get back into the regular lineup.

The Braves are 19-5 when Jones is in the starting lineup but just 7-14 when he sits.

"The trainers tell me the blood has to go someplace and it went up the calf," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think he'll be available to pinch-hit unless something from here until game time gets worse. Hopefully we'll get him into the lineup for one of those games at home this weekend."