He’s not all the way back, but Don Cooper decided he’s good enough to go.
After 11 games off with a case of vertigo, the White Sox pitching coach didn’t want to miss any more time. So while he’s still feeling it, Cooper, who missed the team’s seven-game road trip and four more before that, wanted to be back at the top of the White Sox dugout for their series opener on Friday.
Since he fell ill on July 20, Cooper, who missed time twice in 2013 after he battled a case of diverticulitis, hasn’t had too many good days.
“All I knew is I felt horrible,” Cooper said. “I felt sick, throwing up violently and spinning for three days. What I thought then was I think, I said ‘Man, I would rather have diverticulitis than this.’ I could go with a bad stomach. This stuff, I can’t function.
“I still have the symptoms. But it’s manageable. I wouldn’t be here unless I thought I could.”
The White Sox are glad to have Cooper, who has been the pitching coach since 2002, back on the bench. White Sox manager Robin Ventura said Cooper’s status for a road trip that begins next Thursday in Seattle is still up in the air.
Cooper began to notice the symptoms on July 19 when everywhere he walked he dragged left. As he headed to the ballpark on July 20, he got so dizzy he couldn’t leave his building. Ventura said he isn’t sure what Cooper can and can’t do at this point but he’s happy to have him on the bench.
“I don’t know if I trust him walking straight out there,” Ventura said. “We’ll see how that goes. I don’t know how he feels. He’s just happy to be here. If he’s capable of doing it I’m sure he’s going to do it. Having talked to him over the course of the week and where he’s at now, I know he’s happy to be here but he doesn’t feel that great.
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“His mind is right. He just can’t walk straight.”
Cooper said his mind hasn’t always been right throughout the process. But he’s glad to be able to get back to the ballpark after what seemed like a long time away.
“I know that healthy and family are the two most important things to anybody,” Cooper said. “But I’ll tell you what — you start to feel a little bit guilty that this is your job and you are not here. However crazy that is, that was in my mind.
“It’s unmanageable. Then your mind starts to go to other places a little bit.”