Dunn, who has never suffered through a problematic oblique, tried to play through it during Thursday's afternoon's series finale in Baltimore and then in Friday's opening contest at Comerica Park. But after taking early swings on Saturday, he was replaced at designated hitter by Dan Johnson, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday afternoon.
"Today it's way worse. I went and tried to hit, and I can't. My luck, you know," Dunn said. "Yesterday was pretty bad. And if it didn't get any worse, that's fine. I swung and missed a lot yesterday, and it probably didn't help."
"At first he said it wasn't that bad," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of the origin of Dunn's injury. "Watching him last night, I could see it. I convinced him today he wasn't going to play. He thinks he can play."When asked what sort of activity caused the pain, Dunn said breathing, sneezing and even coughing, let alone baseball activities.
"Everything, everyday life. Life hurts right now," Dunn said. "But [White Sox athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] has seen a lot of these in his life, so he's got a pretty good little program for this. Hopefully I'm a pretty quick healer and it will be good to go tomorrow."
A 7:05 p.m. CT start Sunday night will benefit Dunn, giving him plenty of time for extra treatment. Oblique injuries often turn into trips to the disabled list, but the man leading the Majors with 38 homers said that sort of down time is not an option.
"I'm putting a time on it: tomorrow," said Dunn of his potential return. "Again, I think if this was life and death, I would probably go out there. We still have a lot of games left. I don't want to be too stupid.
"I probably shouldn't have gone out yesterday. But I've been waiting for this playoff atmosphere sort of thing and something stupid like this happens. I wasn't going to let it keep me out. Now, looking back, I probably shouldn't have played yesterday and hopefully it would have been OK today. Hopefully it will be OK tomorrow."