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Braves' Jones ready to return

HOUSTON — Braves 3B Chipper Jones expects to come off the disabled list when he's eligible today.

Jones and a number of Braves took early batting practice Monday before the start of their three-game series against the Astros. Jones took more than 100 swings and also took ground balls in the almost one-hour workout.

"It's progressively gotten better and while I've had some sore days along the way, (Monday) I feel great," he said. "I did what I had to do to prove that I can go out there (today)."

Jones, who turns 40 on April 24, opened the season on the DL after surgery March 26 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

He went through the rigorous workout as a test to make sure he's ready to play. Jones did not want to go on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment and officials let him opt out of making one.

"I just thought it was a waste of time," he said. "Six at-bats in the minors is not going to help me. You might as well just throw me back into the fire."

In other Braves news, RHP Tim Hudson, on the disabled list after November back surgery, is scheduled to have a second rehab outing Thursday for Class A Rome.

SETBACK FOR CLOSER: Drew Storen felt discomfort in his right (pitching) elbow after a simulated game Sunday, and the Nationals closer will be examined by noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews.

AND YET STILL MORE APOLOGIZING AGAIN: Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen will return to Miami from Philadelphia to apologize again for a remark he made about Fidel Castro that has angered Cuban Americans, with at least two local officials saying he should lose his job. There was also a backlash at the state level. The chairman of the Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus called for "punitive measures" against Guillen.

FAN HURT: A woman celebrating her 69th birthday at the Rockies' home opener sustained a concussion when she was struck in the head by a foul ball off the bat of Michael Cuddyer in the fourth inning. Judith Reese was treated at a Denver hospital and released.

A'S: 1B Daric Barton, who has recovered from September shoulder surgery, was activated from the disabled list. 1B Brandon Allen was designated for assignment.

BLUE JAYS: With a sellout crowd of 50,000 expected for the home opener, the team limited beer sales in the upper deck to one per customer per trip, half the amount permitted at regular games.

CARDINALS: 1B Lance Berkman played after testing his sore right hand, which he hurt on an awkward swing.

INDIANS: C Carlos Santana, 26, reached an agreement on a multiyear contract and is expected to sign today, the Associated Press reported.

MARLINS: RF Giancarlo Stanton was scratched from the starting lineup with what the team called left knee pain.

REDS: 2B Brandon Phillips left in the fifth inning after feeling a cramp in his left hamstring. The problem wasn't considered serious.

YANKEES: LHP Andy Pettitte allowed one run and two hits over three innings for Class A Tampa, facing Clearwater at Bright House Field in his second game action since ending a one-year retirement.

Braves' Jones ready to return 04/09/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:40am]
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