Beckham improved but still uncertain for White Sox opener

Beckham improved but still uncertain for White Sox opener
March 25, 2014, 1:15 pm
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GLENDALE, Ariz. — Gordon Beckham plans to further test his left oblique strain on Tuesday but admits he’s still uncertain about his status.

The White Sox second baseman reports feeling good after a light workout on Monday and hopes to repeat those same steps again Tuesday. If all goes well then, he’s aiming to participate in batting practice on Wednesday.

But whether or not he’d be able to play in a game or two before the White Sox open the regular season on Sunday — manager Robin Ventura’s stipulation for Beckham to avoid the disabled list — is unclear.

“It'd be nice to be there and start and play (the opener), and just roll it out there,” Beckham said. “But you know, right now it's just too early to tell if I'm going to be able to compete at the level I want to compete at. I can go out there and compete, but if you feel a twinge in your side while you're facing big-league pitching, it's not that easy. So, we'll see how today goes and hopefully if it feels good we'll play a game tomorrow or something.”

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Beckham has been a limited participant in camp since he suffered the strain after the team’s March 14 contest. He has begun to increase his activity after he completely rested from March 15 until last Friday. He reported he feels OK after he had two stretches of light hitting on Monday and took some ground balls and hopes to repeat those activities Tuesday. He’d then step up his efforts again on Wednesday if he continues to progress.

“It feels OK today so we're going to hit today and take ground balls, and then if it feels good hitting and taking ground balls I'm going to take batting practice, I think,” Beckham said.

Even if he were he to start the season on the DL, Beckham is confident the injury wouldn’t keep him sidelined for long. As much as he wants to start the season in the majors, Beckham has seen how an oblique injury can linger and would like to avoid it in hopes of a healthy full season.

The White Sox do have the ability to backdate the injury to March 21 as long as Beckham — who was limited to 103 games last season after he suffered a broken hamate bone in April — doesn’t appear in a major league exhibition game. He’s allowed to rehab in a minor-league game to test it out, though, which still gives him a chance of making the opening day roster.

“I'd like to make that,” Beckham said. “I'm just going to tell them how I feel. I mean, if I feel good enough to go, then we'll go on Monday. If not, I don't think it will be a prolonged stint. It would be one of those things the first day I could come off, I'd probably come off. It's just a matter of if I feel great, then we'll probably play on Monday — if not it will be later on in the week.”