CHICAGO -- The special healing powers possessed by Adam Dunn were not strong enough to get him into the starting lineup for his first home opener with the White Sox.
Dunn had an emergency appendectomy performed early Wednesday morning in Kansas City, and despite an original expectation of inactivity for about five games, Dunn had hoped to face the Rays on Thursday at U.S. Cellular Field. Instead, he has hopes to return for Friday night's contest.
"I thought I would be a lot better than what I am and it's very disappointing, actually," said Dunn, sitting in front of his locker during White Sox workouts. "I tried everything last night and today to do it and it ain't happening.
"I'm really disappointed that I'm not playing in this game today. I know it probably doesn't mean a lot, just another game to a lot of people, but home openers are really special -- especially when it's your first one. I definitely wanted to be out there and it's not going to work."
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen didn't even bother talking to Dunn about his Thursday availability. He appreciates guys who want to play through pain or injury, setting a good example for younger player, but surgery is surgery and Guillen wasn't about to risk more trouble for his power-packed left-handed hitter.
"He loves to play, that's the main thing. He loves to help," said Guillen of Dunn. "When guys do that, that's something people have to look up to. Not because he's making the money, but he wants to be part of the team and be out there. I'm lucky enough to have guys like that."
"If he can swing the bat, there is not much else that is going to keep him out," said White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko of Dunn. "When you are a middle-of-the-order guy and you're not playing the outfield, if you're playing first or you're DH-ing, you can have a lot wrong with you. But as long as you can swing the bat, you're going to be in there. Something like this, you got to go on doctor's orders."
Although Dunn won't be swinging in the home opener Thursday, he was going to be part of pregame introductions and support his team from the dugout. His timetable for return is as soon as possible, but as the team's designated hitter, that return is all predicated on his ability to swing.
"It's not the pain," Dunn said. "I feel like when I swing, my belly button is going to go shooting at the pitcher. That's a bad visual. Seriously. That's what it feels like.
"Until that goes away, where I can swing and not feel like that ... . My main goal was to get out there today. That's not going to happen, so I want to get it to the point where it's not bothering me.
"I can function. I didn't get my leg chopped off," Dunn said. "It's just sore and kind of tough to move around. I definitely wasn't going to stay at home, that's for sure."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Being Ozzie Guillen, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.