He threw four innings and 61 pitches during a Minor League rehab assignment for Triple-A Charlotte, and the left shoulder strain that put Danks on the disabled list retroactive to May 20 seemed to just about be a past issue. Then, Danks felt abnormal soreness the next day and by Thursday, there was real concern.
The news certainly wasn't perfect when two MRIs done Monday by Midwest Orthopedics at Rush University Medical Central in Chicago, one with contrast and one without, revealed a mild Grade 1 strain of Danks' subscapularis muscle in his left shoulder. But it gave the veteran hurler comfort through understanding the problem.
"It's definitely good to have some answers and know for sure what we are dealing with," said Danks, prior to Tuesday's contest with the Cubs. "We are formulating a plan now to try to get back as soon as possible.
"I wish I had progressed a little further at this point. I kind of expected to be back by now. I just have to listen to my body and do what it says."
Tests showed no tendon or ligament damage, and his labrum is intact. The studies were conducted and evaluated by Dr. Greg Nicholson of Midwest Orthopedics, and the strain has shown improvement from the previous MRI he had on May 23.
After resting Wednesday and Thursday, Danks will begin a rehabilitation and strengthening program on Friday under the supervision of White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider. The White Sox will monitor his status with further diagnostic studies in the coming week.
Danks tentatively will begin another rehabilitation assignment in the next three to four weeks. By the time Danks, 27, returns to the mound, he could be inactive for two or three months.
All of the waiting for Danks is the hardest part. On the flip side, he also should be a fresh addition with this extended disabled list down time.
"You have to start looking at silver linings," Danks said. "In a perfect world, none of this would have happened. I would have been having a good year and we would still be in first. But it is what it is.
"Hopefully, I can be the guy to help anchor the staff when these guys start running out of gas. The other four guys certainly picked me up before I got hurt. I'd like to contribute in a positive way this year."
When Danks first received the diagnosis from Nicholson, he feared the worst. He now is hoping for the best and dealing with the present anguish of being sidelined.
"Dr. Nicholson and I talked for a long time yesterday," Danks said. "He definitely put me at ease. You hear the word tear and I start to think surgery. That scared me. For him to calm me down and tell me what's up, it made me feel better about it.
"Nobody wants to be on the DL, but you've got to play the hand you're dealt. It's tough. We are doing everything we can to get back as soon as possible."