CHICAGO -- Once Adam Dunn passed the final test of taking swings during batting practice, the slugging designated hitter was able to return to the White Sox lineup for Monday's series-opening 4-2 victory over the Twins.
The Major League home run leader at 38 missed the final two games of the Tigers series because of a strained right oblique. But after extensive treatment from White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider, Dunn felt better doing normal everyday stuff like getting out of bed and putting on socks.
Manager Robin Ventura noticed a difference in Dunn from Friday, when the injury appeared to be at its most painful, to Monday when the team returned to U.S. Cellular Field.
"There are times when you are looking at him and he winces or things I saw the other night," Ventura said. "But he feels pretty good. The way he was moving around was a lot different than he was the other day."
"I'd rather be in the lineup and then be out of the lineup, as opposed to being out of the lineup and work my way back in," said Dunn, who finished 1-for-3 in his return and said afterwardhe was solely worried about waking up overly sore on Tuesday.
Dunn petitioned Ventura to pinch-hit during Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Tigers. But with Dunn not having even taken a swing at that point, Ventura joked Monday that he wasn't listening.
Missing any action is tough for a player such as Dunn, who simply enjoys being part of the game. It has been especially trying right now during Dunn's first experience with a push to the playoffs.
"Normally, we got our plane flights knowing when we're going home," Dunn said. "That's a good feeling to know you're playing very meaningful games in September and it's only going to get more fun, only going to get closer and each game is going to end up meaning more and more."