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2011 Atlanta Braves Spring Training: Chipper Jones Fields Grounders For First Time Since Surgery

Chipper Jones is back to business, even if it is a small step forward. He tested his knee by fielding grounders and taking swings on the field, both for the first time since the surgery.

He concedes he's not fully recovered from surgery on his left knee, but still believes he can make a significant contribution if he's at least close to 100 percent.

This is just a reminder that Braves fans should not expect a miracle from Jones this season. He is a soon-to-be 39-year-old coming off knee surgery, and he wasn't in that great of health prior to the injury. You will read plenty of stories of Chipper's progress and expectations of returning to 100 percent, but just remember his age and health history before you start predicting a return of the old Chipper, production wise.

Not to say the current Chipper is washed up. The guy tied for first in all of baseball in BB% at 16% in 381 plate appearances in 2010, and he maintained a .381 OBP. His power has steadily dropped, but he still provides the Braves an on-base machine, and at his age that's all you can ask.

A side note: Chipper and Martin Prado are allowed to participate in the first workouts because they were injured at the end of the season. The rest of the position players are to report Feb. 18, and the first full-team workout is Feb. 19.

A few tidbits from David O'Brien of the AJC:

- Jair Jurrjens has lost 12-14 pounds from last season, weighing in at 198 now. He's hoping to stay in better shape while gaining strength in an attempt to prevent the same injuries that riddled his 2010 season.

- Prado wasn't too thrilled by the move to left field, but he took it in stride and he's working hard at it. Prado is a great guy to have on the team, both on the field and in the clubhouse. When you talk about a team player, this is it.

- Fredi Gonzalez was up and going at 3:45 a.m. Tuesday in preparation for the first day of workouts. He arrived at the park at 5:00, and Bobby Cox was right behind at 6:00. The main difference between Cox's routine and Fredi's so far is the workouts. The players are more spread out on different fields to get more repetitions instead of focusing everything on the main field.

- Chipper taking grounders.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.