ATLANTA (AP) -Chipper Jones was eligible to come off the disabled list for the Atlanta Braves on Friday, but instead he was happy just to have his hands and wrists free from braces for a few minutes.
Jones injured both wrists in a May 11 collision with the Pirates' Jose Bautista while running the bases. Jones tried to play after missing only four games, but was finally placed on the 15-day DL on June 1, retroactive to May 24.
The 15 days ended Friday, but when asked what he's able to do, Jones said, ``Nothing.''
Jones was at least slightly encouraged in the few minutes he took out of the Velcro splints. He hopes he will be allowed to take the devices off for good on Saturday and possibly begin baseball drills next week.
Manager Bobby Cox said Jones won't need a minor league rehab stint when he's ready to play. That's fine with Jones, but he says he expects his timing to be off after not swinging a bat for two weeks.
``That's the least of my concerns,'' Jones said, referring to the persistent pain caused by the bone bruises.
Hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie considered putting hard casts on Jones' hands for a week to 10 days, but Jones opted for the Velcro splints because he could remove them for treatment.
As he flexed his wrists while standing in front of his locker on Friday, Jones said he was slightly encouraged.
``It's better, but still a little ways away from doing anything,'' he said.
``I'm just hoping that it doesn't take four to six weeks to completely heal.''
Jones is scheduled to see Lourie again on Saturday. The visit may determine whether Jones accompanies the team on a road trip to Minnesota for a series that begins Tuesday.
Jones said he is concerned the exam could reveal lingering soreness in the wrists.
``It depends on what the doctor says,'' Jones said. ``He's going to give me a pretty thorough exam. I have a hunch I may still feel it. Until I don't feel it anymore, I won't be able to do anything.''
The Braves have tried Martin Prado, Chris Woodward, Pete Orr and, most recently, rookie Yunel Escobar at third base in Jones' absence. Escobar, hitting .321, made his eighth consecutive start on Friday night.
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