CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko felt some pain during his first batting-practice session on the field Saturday since being placed on the disabled list with a strained left oblique June 17. But Konerko pointed out how White Sox athletic trainer Herm Schneider told him that it's perfectly normal and in no way indicative of a setback.
"I hit the ball well," Konerko said after the BP session. "I'm trying to trust Herm as much as I can on this stuff, because I've never dealt with any injury, let alone this injury. He's had some experience and said it was normal to feel discomfort, because that's the scar tissue breaking up in there, and I definitely felt that. In my head, it alarmed me a bit, but he said it's normal.
"There's really no answer today. We have to see how it responds [Sunday], because today was obviously a big day on the field, hitting. But up until now, every test that we've had, starting with last Sunday, with all the little tests that we've built up leading up to today, I've passed easily. ... This was the only day I felt [pain]. But we knew today was going to be a good test, because there's some adrenaline, taking some full swings, letting it go.
"We'll just have to see how it responds Sunday."
Konerko expects to head to the club's Triple-A affiliate in Charlotte on Sunday to join them for an afternoon game Monday as part of a short rehab stint, if there's no further aftereffects coming from Saturday's batting-practice session. As of Friday, Konerko expected to play at least two games at Charlotte and be back with the big league club as early as Thursday, if everything goes well.
When Konerko takes swings Sunday, he hopes the pain will have subsided to the point he feels like he can play. After all, playing through discomfort is nothing new for Konerko, who had never been on the disabled list before this injury.
"You don't mind a little discomfort, and you can play with that," Konerko said. "You always play with stuff like that. You just want to feel like you're not doing any more damage to it. You don't want to re-hurt it again.
"When these things heal, you have some discomfort that's almost similar to the injury itself. But apparently, that's normal, and I'm trying to listen to Herm and that's what it is."
David Just is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.