KANSAS CITY -- Paul Konerko wasn't in the White Sox starting lineup Thursday night, and according to manager Robin Ventura, the first baseman is dealing with a minor back injury.
"I don't know if it's real bad, but it's enough that he needs a day," Ventura said. "It's been off and on. Lately, it's been happening a little more. It's a day just to rest and hopefully he'll be in there tomorrow."
Konerko had started every game since missing eight in mid-August with a concussion. Overall, he appeared in 132 of the team's 148 contests heading into Thursday's series finale against the Royals.
"You don't want to miss any games. I certainly don't want to miss any, but at the same time, you've got 13, 14, 15 games left. I think it would be a better thing if you're getting one and then playing from here on out than playing all of them and having it catch up with you," Konerko said.
Konerko said he was fine, but he did mention that, at this time of the season, everyone's feeling tired.
"It's kind of all equal. Everybody's kind of in the same boat," Konerko said. "You're just trying to pay attention a little bit more to your rest, and the thing is to get away from your routines. You try to do less, but sometimes if you come in and you don't work out or you don't do flips or batting practice, sometimes that actually backfires and you feel worse. Every player's different. For me, I like to go back and do a lot of hot tub, cold tub and all that stuff just to give me some life. But it's not easy. The schedule's probably the toughest thing about baseball in general. Getting through it is a big chunk of it."
Konerko's absence forced some jostling in the lineup. Kevin Youkilis hit sixth for the first time since joining the White Sox. He hadn't hit lower than fifth since coming to Chicago on June 24, and only five times has he batted lower than second. He did hit sixth 12 times this season while with the Red Sox, batting .268 in those games.
In addition, Dewayne Wise hit second, with Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski moving up to fourth and fifth, respectively.