CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko was out of the White Sox lineup for a third straight game on Wednesday night, but the All-Star first baseman said he expects to be ready for Thursday's series finale against the Yankees.
Konerko took pregame swings in the batting cages for the first time since leaving Sunday's game with a bruised left calf after he was hit by Boston's Andrew Miller in the bottom of the fourth inning, but he said he wasn't ready to return based on the way he was hitting in the cages.
"I think I'll be able to play tomorrow by what I did today," Konerko said. "So we'll just have to wait and see. I wish it was today. In my mind, I didn't rule out today when I walked in today, but I know what I did in the cage wouldn't cut it."
Konerko said he expects the pain in his leg to linger for at least a week or two after he is back in the lineup, so his main concern isn't getting to a point where he doesn't feel discomfort, but instead just being able to perform at a suitable level while still dealing with the injury. With that in mind, the slugger said that, though unlikely, he hadn't ruled out the possibility of pinch-hitting on Wednesday.
"Between now and the end of the game, if it was toward the end, depending on how we work on it [in the training room], there's a chance," Konerko said. "I would say, if we get more of that feeling of that inflammation out of there, it's possible."
The White Sox offense, which has struggled even with Konerko, has missed the first baseman's bat in the middle of the lineup, scoring just two runs over 20 innings since he left Sunday's game. Leading 3-2 at the time of Konerko's injury the White Sox went on to lose that game, 5-3, and lost back-to-back contests to the Yankees, 3-2 and 6-0, to start this series.
"Hopefully, he's ready tomorrow, but like I say, PK's the type of guy that when he says he's ready to go, he's ready," said manager Ozzie Guillen, whose club is 2-5 in games that Konerko doesn't start this season. "He's not going to be a hero. Hopefully, he can help us tomorrow."