Chipper Jones missed the first game of the series between the Atlanta Braves and Arizona Diamonbacks last night. This is the third game that he has missed since returning from the disabled list due to knee soreness. It is also the second time he has missed a game immediately following a plane trip. The first time occured when the Braves flew from Houston to Atlanta. His knee swelled and an ounce of fluid was drained out. He missed the first two games against the Milwaukee Brewers. This time is not as bad and seems to not need draining. However, this is something that raises serious red flags for the Braves moving forward.
This is what we know right now about Chipper: he will rarely, if ever, play a day game following a night game. This is what may be the case: he cannot play the game(s) immediately following an airplane trip.
If he has to miss one game following a plane ride, that wouldn’t be awful. In the case of the first plane trip, he missed two games and took three days to recover.
The Braves have not needed him during that time, as they have won all three of the games he has missed due to his airplane trips to this point. However, the Braves do need him. He was the catalyst to propel them to their first two wins of the season. Since he was activated from the disabled list, the Braves are 8-1. Before he was activated, they were 0-4. His presence in uniform has helped jump-start the team to a hot streak.
This is definitely something that needs to be monitored moving forward. It should also concern the Braves and their fans that his health is as fragile as it has ever been before. The manager’s job of keeping him healthy has gotten much more difficult.