Chipper Jones Hopes to Return By End of Week

May 22, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones (10) sits in the dug out during the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. The Reds defeated the Braves 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones hopes to come off the 15-day disabled list and play at the end of this week, according to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Jones, who hasn’t started a game for the Braves since May 18, is eligible to come off the DL Friday.

Jones was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to May 24, because of a leg contusion. The 40-year-old is hoping to return to the Braves lineup immediately when he’s eligible to come off the DL Friday.

However, O’Brien reports that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez would prefer Jones make at least a start or two in the minors on rehab assignment. Jones and Gonzalez said a decision on the third baseman’s return is likely a few days away.

Prior to his injury, Jones had hit at a clip of .307/.377/.485 with eight extra-base hits and 24 RBIs. Despite his continued production, Jones announced before the start of the regular season that he would be retiring at the end of the year.

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