Konerko returns to action at first base

Konerko returns to action at first base

CHICAGO -- The area around Paul Konerko's left eye still looked discolored when he talked to the media on Tuesday afternoon. But the swelling had gone down enough after being hit by a Jeff Samardzija split-finger in the third inning of Friday's 3-2 victory over the Cubs to allow the White Sox captain to return to action.

"I don't really even sense anything being different until I look in the mirror," said Konerko, who said he didn't feel great at the plate during Tuesday's 9-2 loss to the Twins, but still had two hits and an RBI. "I would say it's all back, other than what you see. There's a little soreness in it, but I can see out of it. So you know it's good to go."

Konerko doesn't plan to wear any protective flap on the left side of his helmet for the injured eye, and added that he didn't have to go through any eye tests before being cleared to return. Those tests basically took place after he was hit Friday to ensure there was no vision damage.

Having been hit in the face four or five times during his professional career, by Konerko's estimation, the nails-tough first baseman plans to just put the moment behind him.

"You just go back out there and play," Konerko said. "It can happen at any time. It's just part of the game."

"Even Sunday it started to go down enough for him to see," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I don't know if he could have played the field but in an emergency he probably could have pinch-hit. He's looking fine now so get him back out there."