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09/26/08 8:21 PM ET

Chipper hopes to start Saturday

Sore right shoulder feels better after batting practice

HOUSTON -- When Chipper Jones left Philadelphia on Wednesday night, he doubted he'd be available to do anything more than pinch-hit during this weekend's series against the Astros.

But after playing catch and taking batting practice on Friday, Jones said that he might return to the lineup on Saturday. He has missed six straight starts while dealing with discomfort in his right shoulder.

"I'm better," Jones said. "I'm going to try to play [Saturday]."

Jones, who owns a Major League-best .365 batting average, appears to be in good position to win his first career batting title. Entering Friday, Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols ranked second in the National League with a .353 batting average.

While speaking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Jones said that he plans to undergo an MRI exam in Atlanta on Tuesday. At the time, the shoulder discomfort, which is believed to be a result of tendinitis or bursitis, hadn't subsided since he'd exited a Sept. 19 game against the Mets.

Jones has been battling shoulder discomfort for nearly two months. But in the past, he'd always realized quicker relief with rest and medication.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.