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Konerko pulled after removal of bone fragment

Konerko pulled after removal of bone fragment

Konerko pulled after removal of bone fragment
CHICAGO -- The White Sox claimed a 6-4 victory over the Tigers on Friday night at U.S. Cellular Field, launching three home runs and breaking a nine-game losing streak against Detroit.

And they started their 10-game homestand off behind their fourth straight victory even without the services of their most consistent hitter.

First baseman Paul Konerko was scratched from the starting lineup after having a procedure performed to dislodge a loose fragment in his left wrist earlier in the afternoon at Rush University Medical Center. He was listed as available for later in the game, but never got into action.

Manager Ozzie Guillen and Konerko said after the victory that the captain is expected to return on Saturday, but nothing is certain.

"Right now, it's sore because there was a lot of trauma today from just people grabbing and pulling and sticking needles in you," Konerko said. "Hopefully, I'll miss just this one game. But what we did today should be better for the long run."

This left wrist pain has bothered Konerko for several years and flared up earlier this season in Seattle when he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of a 6-0 win on May 7 at Safeco Field. Konerko had received medical attention in the middle of his fifth-inning at-bat during the same game, but stayed in the lineup. At the time, Konerko said he was in pain but wasn't sure if the issue would require attention until the offseason.

It wasn't until recently when Konerko actually found out the cause of this pain. As he explained in Seattle and on Friday, that movement of the fragment affects him baseball-wise maybe two times per season. It usually comes through something as simple as picking up an item at home or just driving. Konerko has been able to get the fragment back into a less painful place in the past by moving his wrist around.

"Over the last couple of months, it has been a little more frequent," Konerko said. "It bothered me in Seattle and I got it out before the next game. This time, I got it Wednesday night, I wasn't able to move it around. I couldn't do it.

"When I tried to take some swings, it wouldn't get out. We went in there and basically flushed it out. It's out as we speak, which is good. I think we flushed it to a place that hopefully makes it tougher to get back in."

Adam Dunn replaced Konerko in the White Sox starting lineup at first base, with Dunn picking up his first hit in 41 at-bats this season against a left-handed pitcher. Konerko entered the day ranked second in the American League with 44 RBIs and was also hitting .310 with 12 home runs, having played in 57 of the team's 59 games.

Eventually, Konerko still believes surgery could be needed to correct the issue. Any sort of surgery now would have cost the White Sox their best player and clubhouse leader as they try to fight back into American League Central contention.

"They cut into you, and you are down a while," said Konerko, guessing he would be out about 2-4 weeks if he had surgery. "I don't want to do that. Hopefully, it's out now, and we can get this soreness out and cross your fingers."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Being Ozzie Guillen, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. Associate reporter Paul Casella contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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