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Jones' knee feels better

May 21, 2008|Dylan Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

Andruw Jones reported that his swollen right knee felt "much better" Tuesday, saying he remained hopeful that he could avoid arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage and remove a cyst that would sideline him for four to six weeks.

Jones, who signed a two-year, $36.2-million contract with the Dodgers this winter, said that the injury was something that had gradually worsened over time.

"I had it for a little while, really," Jones said, though he refused to specify when his knee started to bother him. The knee swelled Sunday night.

The center fielder with a .167 average and two home runs reiterated that he would wait until Friday to make a decision on whether to undergo surgery. He said he would try to hit off a tee today and run the bases on the Dodgers' day off Thursday.

Trainer Stan Conte said that because Jones' ailment has "been there for a while" but didn't result in any obvious symptoms until the Dodgers' three-game series in Anaheim, it was possible that the swelling would subside and make surgery unnecessary.

Jones said that if he didn't get his knee repaired next week, he probably would do so in the off-season.

Manager Joe Torre said he would rather be without Jones for a month or so as he recovered from surgery rather than have him play the remainder of the season with the threat of his knee flaring up again.

When Jones was asked if he experienced any knee problems last season while playing for the Atlanta Braves, he responded, "Not at all."

Conte said that while Jones had a physical when he signed with the Dodgers, team physicians wouldn't have been able to find cartilage damage because he didn't undergo an MRI exam.

Conte refuted the notion that the 240-plus pounds frame contributed to Jones' knee problem, saying that the kind of damage in Jones' knee is usually a result of repeated twisting and turning.

"He's played for 10 years," Conte said. "That's a long time."

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dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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