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09/17/09 2:40 AM ET

Chipper aggravates left groin injury

Pinch-hit appearance leaves third baseman iffy on return

ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones' return to the Braves' lineup may have been further delayed on Wednesday night, when he aggravated his strained left groin muscle during an eighth-inning pinch-hit appearance.

After the Braves claimed their 6-5 walk-off win over the Mets, Jones revealed that he'd felt further discomfort while swinging and missing a pitch during his eighth-inning strikeout. The 37-year-old third baseman declared himself available to pinch-hit after taking numerous swings in the indoor batting cage.

"I'll just take it day-by-day," Jones said. "I took 100 swings [in the cage] and I didn't feel it one time. That's why I didn't even think about it. But I guess there's no simulating game-intensity swings. I'll have to see how it feels tomorrow and see if I can play."

Jones has missed three straight starts since straining his groin during the ninth inning of Saturday's win over the Cardinals. His absence hasn't hindered the Braves, who will take a season-best six-game winning streak into Thursday night's series finale against the Mets.

Despite this setback, Jones is still leaving open the possibility of being available on Thursday.

"I'm not going to rule anything out," Jones said. "It didn't feel great. But I might be able to go. We'll see."

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