08/22/08 8:25 PM ET
Jones eager to resume playing
Center fielder hoped to take BP, but trainers intervened
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
At any rate, it appears that Jones will be able to return well before the end of the season. Manager Dave Trembley refused to estimate when he'd be back, but he did elaborate on the team's short-term plans.
"He's got some time yet. Let's not think he is going to be out there on Monday playing," said Trembley. "He is going to have to be out there on the field. He is going to have to take [outfield practice]. He is going to have to run the bases. ... Before we leave next week on the trip, we will probably get him out there in a simulated game to try and get some at-bats off a pitcher.
"He's got a ways to go yet. He's not going to be [activated] in the next three or four or five days."
Trembley added that Jones, who has been out for virtually all of August, has been eager for a return to baseball activities as quickly as possible. The fleet-footed outfielder spent time on Friday shagging flies in center field and had planned to take batting practice in a regular group before the athletic trainers canceled those plans.
That must not have been a surprise for Trembley, who has been the middleman between the two sides all month.
"[Jones] is going to be a guy that's going to tell you he's ready, but we are going to take the other, conservative route on him," he said. "He's hit in the cage, and we'll take him out on the field and let him hit, because if I don't hurry up and do something with him, either one of us is going to go in the straitjacket."
The Orioles face one hazard with Jones, whose recovery will likely take him past the end of the various Minor League seasons. Baltimore will have to get him ready without the benefit of a rehab stint, an assignment Trembley takes seriously.
"We're going to have to do everything we can possibly do here to make the attempt to get him game-ready before we put him in a game," Trembley said. "It may be a little bit longer than normal, because there isn't going to be a Minor League rehab assignment for him, because the Minor League season will be done. ... He is going to be a handful, but we'll get him going."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.