Jones hopes to return Friday

BOSTON — Dealing with a sore right shoulder, center fielder Adam Jones was out of the Orioles’ starting lineup against the Red Sox on Tuesday night for the fifth time in seven games and admitted he probably won’t return until Friday.

The O’s have been optimistic that Jones, who has not played the outfield since last Monday, can avoid the disabled list, and Jones echoed that again on Tuesday.

“I don’t think I’ll go on the DL,” Jones said. “I don’t like the DL. But [I] can’t play, it’s uncomfortable.”

Jones —who suffered the injury diving for a ball on Monday- was originally slated to play center field on Friday in Toronto. But, after testing his shoulder, he didn’t feel right and was a late scratch moved to designated hitter.  Jones, who also served at DH Saturday, said that was the last time he tested throwing.

“I can move it. It’s just certain actions, lifting it,” said Jones, who won’t re-test his shoulder until he’s pain free. “The throwing motion is not too comfortable.”

Jones was more sore on Sunday than manager Buck Showalter had hoped thought he said he doesn’t believe the pair of DH’ed games set him back at all. He is coming off of back-to-back rest days as he didn’t play on Sunday and the team was off on Monday.

“You guys [in the media] have a good timeline,” Jones said when asked if a Friday return was most plausible. “But hopefully maybe Thursday, maybe Friday if I can throw, test it out. That’s the key. If I can throw, I’ll play.”

Jones, who missed just five games the last three years combined,  has missed seven games between the shoulder injury and a left ankle injury. Without the four-time All-Star in their lineup on Tuesday, the O’s started David Lough in center field, batting ninth

“It feels a lot better than it did coming into Sunday,” Jones said. “Just time, it’s the only thing I can do. I can take all this medicine and all this [stuff]. I just need time.”

“These guys count on me to be in there every day. I count on myself to be in there every day. Oriole fans, Showalter counts on me to be in there every day. It’s tough because I feel like I’m letting my teammates down. But they understand.”

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