ARLINGTON -- A.J. Pierzynski missed the last two games with a mild right oblique strain, causing a rare bout of inactivity for the durable White Sox catcher. That absence could reach four games with Tyler Flowers starting Friday against the Rangers and Pierzynski looking as if he'll get one more day on Saturday to let the injury recover.
Pierzynski could have played in Friday's series opener, as he's really only bothered when swinging the bat. But the White Sox decided to be cautious with one of their most valuable contributors.
"From where it was three days ago, it's 100 times better," Pierzynski said. "We came to the decision, talking to [manager] Robin [Ventura] and talking to [head athletic trainer Herm Schneider], that I could play tonight.
"I'm available to play tonight. But we'd just rather, with the heat here and with everything that is going on, give it another day or two. That way I'll be a lot closer to 100 percent if it responds the way it has over the last three days. We'll have no issues. They just don't want to take the chance of having something happen and hurting it worse and being out for a couple of weeks."
According to Pierzynski, taking early batting practice Friday was the final hurdle he had to clear to come back.
"I can catch fine. I can throw fine. I did a full workout today. It's fine," Pierzynski said. "Literally, the only time I feel it is when I swing. It's not unmanageable, it's not unbearable. We're playing it safe than sorry and get better than continue to push it and have something crazy happen."
"We have two months left," Ventura said. "We don't want to lose him for two weeks."