His back isn’t perfect, but Paul Konerko feels he’s tested it thoroughly enough to return to action.
The White Sox slugger batted fifth and started at designated hitter against the Detroit Tigers on Monday night after he was activated off the 15-day disabled list. Konerko went 4-for-10 in a rehab assignment at Double-A Birmingham over the weekend. Konerko has been on the disabled list since July 3 but has only played one time since June 25.
“Everything seems to be right-on,” Konerko said. “I'm probably going to feel something in there the rest of the year, you know, if not forever. But the difference between, you know, you feel something and you know you can get loose and stretch through it and get hot and kind of power through it. If that's the only fight each day, then I'm fine with that. I just don't want it to be like it was when I went down initially when I came back that one game where it kept getting worse. That didn't happen when I was down there so that's what we were looking for, and you know, everything seems to be fine and go out there and let it go.”
[MORE: Crain applauds Braun suspension]
Konerko has only been on the DL three times throughout a 15-year career. Asked if his back could have an impact on whether or not he returns next season, Konerko said he’s only interested in getting through Monday’s game. He also reiterated he’s ready to return to action after a lengthy layoff.
“I'll weigh all that stuff when the time comes,” Konerko said. “It feels good now. Obviously, if it's something where you can't go, you can't go. I had a back issue in 2006 that felt a lot similar to this one when it first happened. I thought that was going to be an issue for a long time, and I got a couple shots in it and it kind of never bothered me again. You never know how these things can work out. We'll just play it by ear, and I'm just worrying about tonight, really. I just want to get out there and get back in there. It's really weird. This is the longest layoff I've ever had in a season in 19 years of pro ball. It's odd. I just want to get back in there and get going and feel more like a baseball player as soon as I can.”
More waiting for Beckham
Gordon Beckham might or might not land on the DL.
He doesn’t know how severe his left wrist strain is, must wait it out and is understandably frustrated by his predicament.
The White Sox second baseman missed a second straight game on Monday after he injured his wrist before Friday’s game. He doesn’t know much, but he’s certain the injury isn’t related to his hamate bone surgery, one that sidelined him for 47 games earlier this season.
“When you hurt yourself for two months and are finally starting to get comfortable back playing, and for something to go wrong with your hand again, it kind of stings,” Beckham said. “I don’t want to go on the DL, but we just have to let it play out. The doctor said it could be a week, it could be more, it could be less. We don’t really know. We just have to see how it responds to not doing anything and hope it’s not as bad as it could be.”
-- Asked for an update on reliever Jesse Crain, who is on the 15-day DL with a right shoulder strain, White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he’d have more to say when the right-hander is “letting it go a little more.”
-- Triple-A Charlotte first baseman Andy Wilkins has been named the International League batter of the week after he went 7-for-16 with a double, three home runs, five RBI and six runs.
-- Double-A Birmingham pitcher Spencer Arroyo was named the Southern League’s pitcher of the week after he earned a victory with seven scoreless innings on Friday.