Danks exits start with oblique injury

Danks exits start with oblique injury

Danks exits start with oblique injury
CHICAGO -- A line drive to the back of the head wasn't enough to knock John Danks out of his last start, but a strained right oblique did the trick in the second inning of Saturday's 3-0 win against the Nationals.

Trainer Herm Schneider couldn't give Danks an immediate timetable for a return from the injury, which cut short his attempt for a fourth straight win after he started the season 0-8. Danks, who has never had an oblique injury before, said he doesn't think it is serious, but he will have a better idea as to the extent of the injury when he meets with trainers again on Sunday.

"It's gotten pretty sore, it really has," Danks said after the game. "It's pretty sore to walk and do certain things. It's hard to take a deep breath. [Herm] said it's still aggravated at this point. Tomorrow, we'll have a better idea."

"Hermie told me it should be nothing serious," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said, "but when you got [an injured] oblique, it's not scary but really touchy and hard to recover right away."

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Danks left the game after retiring Jerry Hairston Jr. on a fly ball for the second out of the inning. After the play, Guillen and Schneider went to the mound to examine Danks, who was favoring his right side. The left-hander threw one warmup pitch then immediately walked off the field and was replaced by Brian Bruney.

"I wanted to stay in the ballgame, but then I threw that [practice] pitch just to get a feel," Danks said. "There would have been no way I could have put anything behind the ball."

At first, Danks wasn't sure what happened or where exactly on his body he was injured. There was no build-up to the injury and he had trouble explaining to Schneider where exactly he was feeling pain after the pitch that retired Hairston.

"On the last pitch I threw, I felt it grab. It felt like a pinch," he said. "At the time, I didn't know what it was. It's kind of in the area right there around the hip. I couldn't pinpoint exactly where it was hurting, it was kind of moving around on me."

Before leaving with the injury, Danks hadn't allowed a hit in 1 2/3 innings of work, while striking out two batters and hitting another. Entering Saturday's game, Danks had been dominant of late, going 3-0 with a 1.22 ERA over his last three starts, and he said he felt he could have turned in another solid performance with how the day started.

Instead, the White Sox were forced to go to their bullpen after just five outs, one day after using all six of their relievers in a 14-inning loss on Friday night. Bruney pitched for the second straight day, going 2 1/3 innings before Jake Peavy pitched four dominant innings for the win. Sergio Santos also pitched for the second straight day, tossing a perfect ninth inning for his 15th save.

"I felt like I had pretty good stuff, pretty good command and I had a chance to go deep into the ballgame and give those guys a break, a much-needed break," Danks said. "It's unfortunate, but Jake and Brian Bruney did a great job."

Paul Casella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.