Chipper Jones says he was only kidding about not being able to make it through the season.
On Monday, the veteran Braves third baseman told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Tomorrow might be my last day. I don't know. I don't really focus on it that much. The body is starting to tell me every morning when I wake up that it's getting close. I'm signed through the end of this year. If I play in a certain amount of games, I got an option for next year. I don't know what next year entails. I don't know if I can make it through this year."
A day later, the 39-year-old veteran backtracked in a phone interview with Braves.com.
"Unfortunately, I said it around two guys who don't know me very well and they didn't realize I was kidding around. One of the guys asked, 'You think you can make it through the season with your knees?' I said, 'Make it through the season, I don't know if I can make it through tomorrow.'
"Obviously, I'm joking. That's an obvious joke. Really, I just came off the field after playing eight innings. I've had eight at-bats all spring. I was kidding around. ... I was a little tired. I wasn't by any means suggesting I couldn't make it through the season. If I didn't think that I could, I wouldn't be out there."
Jones' contract will pay him $14 million in 2012, and includes a $7 million option that will vest at $9 million if he plays in 123 games this season.
In 2011, he played in 126 games and hit .275. He credits his teammates as the reason he returned.