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Chipper, Heyward return to Braves lineup
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ATLANTA — Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward returned to the Atlanta Braves lineup Tuesday against Houston after dealing with injuries.

Jones said his right knee was feeling much better after he had two injections on Sunday to deal with the pain from a small meniscus tear. He had missed Atlanta's two previous contests, but went through batting practice and decided to return to the lineup for the finale of an eight-game homestand.

"It's good enough that I feel like I can play," Jones said beforehand. "I've got to go out there and prove it to them."
There was still the possibility of arthroscopic surgery if the knee doesn't hold up.

"I don't have near the pain that I did two days ago," Jones said. "As long as I can go out there and field ground balls, move laterally, hit from both sides of the plate, give it a whirl. That's why we took the shots."

Heyward was starting for the first time in seven games after resting his ailing right shoulder.

He had been in pain since spring training and things got worse last week, when he left a game against Washington after his right hand went numb. Heyward underwent an MRI, which found inflammation but no major problems.

Heyward entered Monday's victory over the Astros as a defensive replacement and batted for the first time since his MRI. He hit a grounder in the eighth inning and was safe on a throwing error.

Jones said he wanted to make sure his knee was better before the Braves left on a seven-game road trip that begins Wednesday in Arizona.

If surgery is needed, he can remain behind in Atlanta to get the procedure done. Also, left-hander Wandy Rodriguez was starting for the Astros, which meant the switch-hitting Jones would be batting from the right side — putting more pressure on his ailing knee.

"There's no better time to do it than right now," Jones said. "We'll know probably today after the game whether I stay home and have the surgery or go on the road with the club."

Jones sounded confident about his knee withstanding the rigors of a game.

"I woke up this morning feeling better than I have in a month," he said, "so strap it up and find out."

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