Adam Eaton ran into the wall and the wall won.
The White Sox center fielder isn’t sure if he’ll play on Thursday after he suffered a bruised lower back while running into the outfield fence at full speed on Wednesday afternoon. But Eaton felt pretty fortunate not to be in worse shape after the second-inning play. X-rays taken during the game were negative, the team said.
“I’ve been better,” Eaton said. “I’ve never done that before. I’m a little embarrassed. But my back kind of took a beating a little bit there. I’m very happy that it wasn’t my head. I thought that I went into the wall pretty hard.”
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Eaton said he was so locked onto the fly ball, one that resulted in a two-run home run for Texas’ Adam Rosales, that he didn’t realize he was on the warning track until it was too late. Running at top speed, Eaton slammed into the chain-link portion of the right-center field fence and narrowly missed a post.
“I felt a little tension in the back,” Eaton said. “Not a pop but definitely felt it. It was kind of scary. … I knocked the wind out of me. Like I said, my back was just kind of, scary moment. The first thing you hit the wall, you collect your body parts and make sure everything is working right. I’m glad it wasn’t a concussion or anything like that.”
White Sox manager Robin Ventura’s initial thought was Eaton would have suffered a head injury. Eaton spent at least a minute on the ground after the impact. He was able to leave the field without help but exited the game immediately.
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Eaton thought he might have a better idea how he would feel after the team’s four-hour flight to Seattle after the game. Though he’s hopeful he’d play Thursday, Eaton did note that Ventura normally holds players out of the next game if they left the previous one because of an injury.
“He seems fine but we’ll evaluate tomorrow and see where he’s at,” Ventura said. “He’s pretty sore right now.”