Konerko expects to return on Tuesday

Konerko expects to return on Tuesday

Konerko expects to return on Tuesday

CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko hopes to return to the White Sox lineup for Tuesday's series opener against Baltimore, having tested his sore back with swings in the batting cage again on Sunday.

Konerko has missed the first six games of this homestand.

"I'm kind of on the way up and out of it," Konerko said. "But it feels good. Part of it, again, is that the soreness isn't bad and all that ... but obviously, you want to take swings.

"I hadn't swung a bat in five, six days until yesterday, so you can't really judge it on how you are swinging it sometimes, because you would look bad anyway if you haven't swung for a few days. There's still a little soreness on the follow-through, a little bit. I feel like that will be gone by Tuesday."

With the White Sox off Monday, the plan for Konerko is to not do anything and take a day of rest. He took 75 or 80 swings on Saturday and another 50 on Sunday in preparation for a return.

"Unless [White Sox athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] tells me otherwise, I'll probably do nothing [on Monday], then come back in on Tuesday for a full day's work," Konerko said. "Get ready, get heated up, get going, take BP, do the whole thing."

"He's swinging and making sure it feels fine, but he does feel better," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "The worst case is Tuesday at this point. Hopefully he can pinch-hit, be in that spot to come in and do something late. We're just staying away from having him play today to make sure he's fine by Tuesday."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.