ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones will be back with the Braves in 2012.
The seven-time All-Star told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday that he would indeed be with the club next season, ending speculation that he would retire with a year left on his contract.
"I'm playing next year," Jones told the AJC. "I still feel like I can go out there and play a good third base and be a threat, at least, at the plate. I'm having a good defensive year, and the [batting] average is on the rise."
The veteran, who hit his second homer in as many games on Friday in a 4-2 win over the D-backs, has hit .275 this season, with 12 homers and 56 RBIs. He's missed some time after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee in July while also missing action with a strained quadriceps.
But he said following Friday's game that he feels as healthy as he has all season.
"As far as this year goes, obviously there were some concerns with the ACL replacement coming out of Spring Training," he said. "We didn't know how that was going to react. As we sit here right now, I feel good."
The former MVP is owed $14 million next season, in what is the final year of his contract. Jones, who turns 40 in April, has not decided whether he will play in 2013.
"If he's healthy, shoot, yeah, that's a big presence in that lineup and also in that locker room," manager Fredi Gonzalez said on Friday.
Chris Cox is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.