CHICAGO -- After a two-game absence and three days of inactivity to combat back soreness and stiffness, Brent Morel returned to the starting lineup for Saturday night's 5-0 loss to the Royals.
Morel also had an MRI taken during Thursday's off-day and received a cortisone shot to treat a bulging disc in his back. Morel reported a marked change attributable to that one shot on Thursday.
"It feels like 100 percent completely different right now," said Morel, who singled, walked and stole a base in the loss.
"He looked good [Friday] in batting practice," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Morel. "You could tell even the way he was moving around and swinging, he was a little freer with everything he was doing. It was more giving him [Friday] to get acclimated to it and being there [Saturday]."
Morel entered the second game of the series against the Royals and 34th game of the season hitting a miniscule .172, which stands as the Major League's fourth-lowest average among qualifiers. Morel also had just four RBIs and only two extra-base hits.
Although the bulging disc has bothered him since Spring Training, Morel does not want to make excuses for the slow start. But there's no question it has affected his overall performance.
"I mean, it's tough to rotate and it's just one of those things that you are trying not to hurt it when you swing," Morel said. "You can't do too much, so it just got the point where you give it three days off and get the injection and get it taken care of and kind of go from there.
"There's nothing too serious, no surgery or anything like that, with a bulging disc. It's just kind of one of those things you have to stay on top of and make sure to do my exercises and stuff every day and I should be fine."