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Konerko back in starting lineup for White Sox

Konerko back in starting lineup for White Sox

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CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko returned to the White Sox starting lineup Monday against the Tigers following a 4-for-10 showing over three Minor League rehab games with Double-A Birmingham.

The White Sox captain had been on the disabled list since July 3 with a lower back strain that he described as "a slight degeneration of one of the disks and kind of a little bit of a tear that again is pretty common they say in a lot of guys and sometimes you can just aggravate it the wrong way."

Konerko admitted that there's always concern the back issue could arise again, but he seemed ready to get back to work with the White Sox.

"I don't know if it's something that I'm never not going to feel," Konerko said. "But there's probably five other things that I'm never not going to feel that I've had for two or three years that, you know, again it's fine if you can come in and know that if you get loose and warmed up that you can power through it and play the game.

"Everybody out here has something like that, whether it's their knee or their shoulder. A lot of these guys throwing the ball, I mean their arms, their elbows, their shoulders kill them. But they can get loose and get the job done. If it's something like that, it doesn't concern me."

Although he was asked about the back problem impacting his decision for playing past this year, Konerko said that he was simply focused on getting ready for Monday. Konerko could be playing with a different group of teammates by the non-waiver Trade Deadline of July 31, but he knows that the White Sox won't make deals just to make them.

"We don't want to concern ourselves with that kind of stuff," Konerko said. "A lot of guys that have been talked about on our team are under contract, so I'm sure there's no rush. If you don't like what you're getting and you know there's no rush, then you can just wait and maybe down the road you get something else.

"I'm sure it's a tough, tough job to navigate through all that kind of stuff. Everybody thinks it has to happen, this stuff has to happen. But when you look at it from really what it is, it really doesn't. It could still, but it might not be the urgency that some people think."

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.

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