Konerko delays rehab assignment
Slugger felt sore after taking batting practice Saturday
CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko currently finds himself in a bit of a tricky situation where the ongoing recovery process for his strained left oblique is concerned.
On one side of the decision-making process, Konerko is eager to return to the lineup for the first-place White Sox and contribute to their postseason push. On the other end of the ledger is the desire for Konerko to stay with the team, 100 percent healthy, once he returns and not go back to the disabled list one week or 10 days later if he comes back too quickly.
With those two concepts firmly playing each other in Konerko's mind, Konerko did not leave for a Minor League rehab assignment on Sunday as originally planned in a call made by the White Sox captain and athletic trainer Herm Schneider. Konerko felt some soreness in the injured area when he took live batting practice Saturday, and then felt a little more after the fact, so the brief trip to Triple-A Charlotte was put on hold.
Konerko still could leave for Charlotte on Tuesday, or it could be later in the week.
"The bottom line is there was a little too much soreness to get on a plane [Sunday] and get ready to go [Monday]," said Konerko, who was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 15. "That's it. As far as a timeline, I don't know now. I think the worst thing to do is to make a timeline like I had [Saturday]. Now, just wait and see and that's it.
"I wouldn't say it's thrown me for a loop, but it is disappointing. These things, just from everyone I've talked to, they heal when they heal. My ultimate goal is once I get back in there to not come back out, that way I don't want to jump in too early.
"I've already missed 12 [games], probably going to miss 15 games," Konerko added. "So if I wind up missing 16, 17 or 18, really what's the difference at that point?"
Despite the change in plans, Konerko still put in "a bunch of work" in the batting cages on Sunday. His plan is to keep working on a daily basis, breaking up scar tissue, which appears to be causing the bulk of the residual discomfort.
"One day, I'll take swings and say, 'There it is,'" Konerko said. "I hope that day is sooner than later. I'd rather err on the cautious side after the pain I felt [Saturday]. The work the three days before that, I didn't think I would have any problem [Saturday]. But there was definitely some discomfort there when I was taking live BP."
"He's the one who is going to make the call," said White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen of Konerko. "I want him to be 100 percent healthy and not come back too quickly, and all of a sudden have a setback. We have to be very careful about it. Hey, when he's ready, we're going to use him."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.