CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko missed two games when he underwent a procedure last June to flush a loose bone fragment in his left wrist into a less painful spot. That fragment didn't bother him the rest of the 2011 campaign.
Konerko also missed two games when he had the same procedure done on Tuesday. Now, Konerko hopes to have the same pain-free results as 2011, before he undergoes offseason surgery to completely remove the chip. He knocked out two hits in his return during Thursday's 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays.
"It's never entered into the joint playing baseball," Konerko said. "It's always away from the field, like something simple like grabbing something off a table or opening a door.
"I cross my fingers with it. It was my fault, more so, that I didn't get it out last offseason. I wanted to, but I figured it hasn't been in there for four to five months so it's gone, it's not coming back, so we didn't do it. It happened again, so I don't think I'm going to get out of it this time."
That surgical process could have Konerko out for anywhere from three to eight weeks, so it's not something he can do during the season. For now, he's back hitting fourth with his Major League-best .371 average and trying to jump-start a White Sox offense that cooled down quickly against Toronto starters Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow.
"When you've got a guy who does what he does at the plate, it extends innings," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Konerko. "It makes people pitch differently -- especially the way he's been swinging prior to him having the wrist thing. It's a big boost for us to get him back and get him in the middle of the lineup."
"One of the best hitters in the American League," said Blue Jays manager John Farrell of the White Sox captain. "It creates a void when your middle-of-the-order bat isn't in there. He might be quietly putting up a Hall of Fame career. If he's maybe -- and this is not to take anything away from Chicago or anything -- but this is, in my mind, a prolific hitter that might not garner the attention of other guys around the game."