Nate Jones already said he feels different after he had back surgery on Monday.
The White Sox reliever has rejoined the club less than a week after he had a microdiscectomy to take pressure off his nerves and relieve back pain. He said Friday the pain in his hip, which forced him to hobble for most of the past month, has subsided.
Jones hopes to begin physical activity in early June, roughly a month after his surgery. He believes he’d then need a mini-spring training to prepare but expects to pitch again in 2014.
“Our first target is becoming a normal person, twisting and bending, stuff like that,” Jones said. “We are shooting for the earliest which is four weeks, since they didn’t have to take any bone or anything like that out.”
Jones is glad to have a target date after he dealt with different forms of pain for 2 1/2 months. He first was diagnosed with a gluteal strain and rehabbed back only have it re-diagnosed as a hip strain and finally a lower back strain. After several attempts at treatment, Jones and the club opted for the 75-minute surgery.
“I’m not frustrated at all,” Jones said. “I was relaying information to them and they were using that information trying to diagnose what it was. So we knocked everything out one by one by one and finally figured out what it was with my back.
“I can tell right away, especially the next day. Knock on wood, so far no pain in my hip and that was mainly what was bothering me.”
Now Jones hopes his biggest bother will be watching his teammates while he rehabs and wishing he could play. Jones, who was transferred to the 60-day disabled list last Saturday, has appeared in two games this season.
“It’s hard watching all the time,” Jones said. “I was rooting for the guys. I love seeing the bullpen come in and do what they have been doing over the past several games. I was a part of those early struggles so I felt like it was my fault. It was hard for me to watch too.”
— White Sox manager Robin Ventura will miss Saturday’s game to attend his daughter Rachel’s graduation from Oklahoma State University.
— Through Friday, the White Sox have had 119 games missed by players on the DL. The team’s current group includes Jones, outfielders Avisail Garcia and Adam Eaton, starting pitchers Chris Sale and Felipe Paulino and infielder Jeff Keppinger.