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Thome ready to play in Wednesday finale

Thome ready to play in Wednesday finale

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CHICAGO -- Jim Thome figures to be back in the White Sox starting lineup for Wednesday afternoon's series finale against Zack Greinke and the Royals.

The designated hitter has missed the first two games at U.S. Cellular Field against Kansas City after leaving early from Sunday's contest in Oakland due to a left heel injury.

"It's definitely feeling better than yesterday," Thome said. "It's something that's been going on since Spring Training. The nice thing that happened, [White Sox athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] does a good job of getting on top of it.

"You go out, you try to get on top of it as quick as you can. If you had that answer, you'd try to cure it. Again, it's something that's happened and you deal with it."

Thome will benefit from three off-days in September, not to mention another break coming Thursday. But with Thome knocking out nine home runs and driving in 28 runs in his past 30 games, the White Sox want him in the lineup as much as possible -- especially with a tight American League Central race and a brutally tough road trip beginning this Monday in Boston and then moving to New York, Minneapolis and finishing at Wrigley Field on Sept. 3.

That same desire to play is felt by the veteran slugger, who is tied for 12th with Reggie Jackson on the all-time home run list at 563.

"We're in a situation where you want to be out there and you want to play," Thome said. "The bottom line is we got some guys, with the addition of [Alex] Rios, we can juggle our lineup a little bit and give some guys a few days off. But for the most part, you want to be out there ready to play. And that's how I tried to approach it.

"Over time, it's a nagging thing and it got to the point where I had a little difficulty running. The best thing was to get treatment on it and stay on top before it got worse."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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