Tuesday, March 10, 2009
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Chipper improving, will get at least 5 days off

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[March 10, 2009]  TORONTO (AP) -- Chipper Jones will take at least five days off to recover from a mild strain on his right side and the Atlanta third baseman hopes to return to the United States' lineup in the second round of the World Baseball Classic.

"You couldn't get me away from here with a crowbar," Jones said Monday before Team USA's optional workout at Rogers Centre. "I haven't even contributed to this point, at least offensively."

RestaurantJones was injured swinging at a pitch in the fifth inning of Sunday night's 15-6 victory over Venezuela, a win that ensured the U.S. would move on at the WBC. He limited himself to light running during Monday's workout but said he might try "some light stuff" on Tuesday.

"He was better today, but we're in the second round so there's no panic button," United States manager Davey Johnson said. "He's going to have five days to recover. If this happened down in Orlando (at spring training), I'm sure he'd get about five days off before getting back to playing."

The U.S. begins second-round play Saturday in Miami.

A switch-hitter, Jones said he has dealt with this type of injury "dozens of times" in the past.


"Oblique strains are something that happen to switch-hitters quite frequently," he said. "I know the severity and I know that this is probably something that will be knocked out in three or four days. So if we're just smart with it, I'll be able to get back in there pretty soon."

Jones, who is 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in the World Baseball Classic, hit .364 with 22 home runs and 75 RBIs for the Braves in 2008.

"I'm not worried about rust because if you have seen me, I look awfully rusty right now," he said, drawing laughs.

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Jones was asked how many calls he's received about his injury.

"Not as many from the Braves as I have from the Braves media," he said. "They rang my phone off the hook this morning."

Under tournament rules, only catchers can be replaced within a round. Other injured players can be replaced between rounds but are not available to return.

Johnson said Jones will sit and either David Wright or Mark DeRosa will play third base Wednesday when the U.S. faces Canada, Italy or Venezuela to decide the winner of Group C. Ted Lilly will start that game, with right-hander Jeremy Guthrie set to follow out of the bullpen.

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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