ATLANTA -- Concerned about the growing discomfort in his right knee, Chipper Jones underwent an MRI exam Sunday afternoon and learned that he has a small meniscus tear.
Braves physician Dr. Marvin Royster provided Jones an injection early Sunday evening with the hope it will provide him some relief while he rests the next couple of days. If it does provide some lasting relief, the 39-year-old third baseman might be able to avoid having the knee repaired via an arthroscopic surgical procedure.
"We'll know in a couple days," Jones said. "If the shot helps then I'll play as long as I can. If the shot doesn't help, then they'll go in and clean it up."
When Jones tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in August, it seemed his left knee might prove to be the problem this year. But while his left knee has cooperated for more than three months, the right knee has proven to be a problem over the past three weeks.
After Jones attempted to run sprints about 10 minutes before the scheduled first pitch of Sunday's game against the Phillies, he removed himself from the lineup. The Braves' medical staff then set up the MRI exam.
"It's been coming on for three weeks," Jones said. "I have good days and bad days. We've treated it. I've taken anti-inflammatories and some pain killers to be able to play. But today, nothing helped."
Jones said he asked if it would be better for him to simply undergo the arthroscopic surgery now and likely miss just a couple of weeks. But Royster gave him some hope that they will be able to simply medicate the ailment.
"Doc Royster seemed to think he could put some stuff up in there that will help it while I'm out for a few days," Jones said.
Jones hit .321 (17-for-52) with four doubles, two homers and a .903 OPS in his first 16 games of the season. He has batted .247 (22-for-89) with nine doubles, two homers and a .788 OPS in the 23 games that have followed.
Proctor works his way back to big leagues
ATLANTA -- After being released by the Braves during Spring Training, veteran reliever Scott Proctor opted to rejoin them with a Minor League contract. Six weeks later, the veteran reliever has been granted another chance to prove he can still be productive at the Major League level.
Looking to add depth to a bullpen mix that misses the injured Peter Moylan, the Braves purchased Proctor's contract from Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday. He filled the roster spot opened when Brandon Beachy was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle.
"It was just a good fit," Proctor said. "The Braves have been good to me. They definitely saw me through some tough times last year. You understand the business of it. There's no hard feelings."
After missing the entire 2009 season because of Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery, Proctor signed with the Braves with the hope that he would be an asset most of last year. But as he struggled to regain all of his strength, he spent most of the year with Gwinnett.
One of the primary reasons Proctor rejoined the Braves was the opportunity to continue working with Gwinnett pitching coach Marty Reed. Their relationship dates back to 1998, shortly after the Dodgers signed Proctor to his first professional contract.
With Reed's assistance, Proctor has once again found a feel for his slider and altered his stance from the stretch. Like Craig Kimbrel, he keeps his left leg stiff in an attempt to help him keep his front side closed during his delivery.
Proctor posted a 1.06 ERA and recorded 24 strikeouts while walking just five in the 17 innings he completed for Gwinnett this season. Opponents hit just .164 against him.
"Hitters tell you a lot," Proctor said. "Triple-A hitters are Triple-A hitters. There are still a lot of guys who can hit, but might not be able to do it defensively up here. I was making pitches. I think my slider is where it was before I had surgery, and my fastball command has been really, really good."
Heyward expects to be back Tuesday
ATLANTA -- With his right shoulder showing more improvement Sunday morning, Jason Heyward was cleared to take swings off a batting tee. But the Braves' right fielder does not expect to return to the starting lineup until Tuesday.
"I wanted to swing off the tee to see how it feels," Heyward said. "I think Tuesday, if all goes well, I'll be back in the lineup."
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was hoping Heyward might be available to pinch-hit Sunday and possibly return to the lineup Monday. But the young outfielder said he wants to test his shoulder Monday by taking full-fledged batting practice.
Heyward exited Tuesday's game against the Nationals when he began feeling numbness in his right hand. An MRI exam performed Thursday showed inflammation around his shoulder. He received a cortisone shot that day and said then he hoped to return in three to four days.
The Braves utilized Heyward as a pinch-runner Friday night and inserted him into right field during the ninth inning of Saturday's game. Because he is bothered by his non-throwing shoulder, there is not much concern about him playing defense.
"I'll take swings tomorrow," Heyward said Sunday morning. "I'll probably go at it harder, and then, Tuesday, go as if it was normal."
Teheran likely for spot start in place of Beachy
ATLANTA -- With Mike Minor no longer standing as a candidate, there is certainly reason to believe Julio Teheran will be the one who make the spot start in place of the injured Brandon Beachy on Wednesday. But the Braves still have not made an official announcement.
Minor stood as a candidate before he completed five innings for Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday. There is a very slim chance the Braves could call upon Rodrigo Lopez. They have already said the whoever they choose will only stick around for just this one start.
Because Lopez is out of options, the Braves would have to try to sneak him through waivers before sending him back to Gwinnett.
The most likely candidate, then, appears to be Teheran, who would be pitching with just one extra day of rest Wednesday. The highly touted 20-year-old right-hander pitched effectively while making his Major League debut in Philadelphia on May 7.
If this were more than a spot start, the Braves likely wouldn't bring Teheran back up. But without a need to use a fifth starter again until May 31, they might not have a problem once again briefly interrupting his development at the Minor League level.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.