MIAMI -- The Braves recently got Brian McCann to return to their lineup, and it could get another boost soon.
Chipper Jones had stitches removed from his left leg on Wednesday, and the veteran third baseman could be back in Fredi Gonzalez's lineup by the start of next week.
"He hit BP and they took the stitches out," Gonzalez said. "He ran a little bit, ran 10 sprints. He'll take some ground balls and keep progressing from there."
Jones, who is batting .307 with five home runs and 24 RBIs in this season, is eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday. He had hoped to rejoin the Braves for their series against the Blue Jays this weekend, but the Yankees series that begins on Monday may be more realistic.
The Braves may choose to send Jones on a rehab assignment before activating the 40-year-old. While some teams send a player on a rehab assignment to get their timing ready, Gonzalez believes the veteran's timing will be just fine.
Gonzalez is more concerned with how Jones' legs will respond to playing every day after taking the past few weeks off to let his injury heal. If Jones continues to progress well, the Braves hope to send him on a rehab assignment soon to make sure his legs are prepared to play every day before he rejoins the big league roster.
"Best-case scenario is to get him on a rehab assignment this weekend," Gonzalez said. "We just want to make sure that he's ready and his legs are ready."