KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) _ Chipper Jones missed his fourth straight game today with a sore muscle in his right side and might try to return to the lineup Tuesday.
But Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said today he doesn't know if he will let him.
Jones didn't play Friday night after feeling soreness during batting practice. The injury caused alarm because he missed 27 games during two trips to the disabled list last year caused by a strained left oblique.
Jones says the injury is ``just a tweak'' but he hasn't participated in batting or fielding practice since Friday. He has spent his mornings receiving treatment.
Jones, who turns 35 next month, remains a crucial part of the lineup, and Cox is reluctant to rush the veteran's return.
Cox said he would be happy if Jones is back for the final two games in Florida and two exhibition games in Atlanta, against the Chicago White Sox on March 30th and 31st.
Cox began to run out of options at third base today. Pete Orr was held out after fouling a ball off his shin yesterday. Chris Woodward was listed as the starter, but he was scratched with a sore calf muscle. Woodward has only six at-bats this year.
Yunel Escobar started at third. Cox was less concerned about Andruw Jones, who missed his second straight game today with a sore right shoulder. The center fielder is likely to play tomorrow.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)