Konerko returns to lineup as DH

Konerko returns to lineup as DH

CHICAGO -- After missing the last three games with a bruised left calf, Paul Konerko was batting third in Ozzie Guillen's lineup as the White Sox designated hitter for Thursday's series finale against the Yankees.

Konerko told Guillen he was ready to return after taking practice swings on Thursday, but Guillen also didn't want to rush Konerko back into playing the field, and said he would likely hold off on that for a few more days.

"We need him, I think we need him back," Guillen said of Konerko, who leads the team in home runs (25) and RBIs (76). "I think the players, when they see him in the lineup, I think they get pumped up a little bit."

Konerko went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles in his return Thursday night, but admitted after the game he still felt a lot of pain in his leg while running and said he wasn't ready to return to the field yet.

"Hitting-wise, I felt not bad. I felt maybe 80 or 90 percent," Konerko said. "Running killed. I don't know. I would have thought it would be the other way around. Running laterally was really painful. Just keep working to get that out, that's all you can do."