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 ATLANTA (AP) -Chipper Jones was optimistic about his sore wrists after he fielded some grounders and made some soft throws across the infield Saturday during the Atlanta Braves' batting practice.
``All that went pretty well,'' Jones said. ``This is one of the few days I've really been encouraged. ... As long as I keep getting better, it shouldn't be too long.''
Jones was examined by hand specialist Dr. Gary Lourie on Saturday. Lourie gave the go-ahead for the third baseman to remove the Velcro splints on each wrist and take groundballs and throw for the first time since he was placed on the 15-day disabled list June 1, retroactive to May 24.
Jones injured both wrists in a May 11 collision with Pittsburgh's Jose Bautista.
Jones' upbeat mood Saturday was a notable difference from Friday, when he said he was feeling a little better, but could do ``nothing.''
On Friday, Jones said he hoped to begin baseball drills next week, so he was ahead of that pace Saturday.
In addition to his workout during batting practice, Jones tried some wrist curls and grip exercises in the training room. He said the next test will be to see how his wrists respond Sunday.
Jones and manager Bobby Cox have said the third baseman won't need a minor league rehab stint when he's ready to play.
Without Jones in his usual No. 3 spot in the batting order, the Braves' offense has struggled. The Braves were held to one run in four of their last five losses, even though rookie Yunel Escobar was hitting .344 in eight games as Jones' most recent replacement.
Jones said he hoped to start swinging a bat ``in a matter of days.''

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