"I took some swings in the cage and the thought was that I'd be available tonight later in the game but ... we weren't sure enough that if it was going to be ready, we didn't want to burn two people right off the bat in the beginning of the game."
Konerko enters this Padres series with four hits in his last 43 at-bats over the past 14 games, but it was Marcus Semien who once again got the start at designated hitter Friday.
"You don't want to throw somebody in there that's not quite sure -- and I wasn't sure -- so I'll try to keep it going the rest of the day and then if need be hit, be used later in the game," Konerko said. "Hopefully we don't need it, but if need be I'll be ready for that."
With Jose Abreu scheduled to return from the disabled list Monday, Semien would be a candidate to temporarily return to Triple-A Charlotte.
A move to the DL for Konerko is also possible if his back doesn't respond completely.
"It is what it is. I have to deal with this a lot," Konerko said. "Sometimes at this point where, like the other night, you have some games that you're kind of at the mercy of. Sometimes it can just kind of catch up to you a little bit. It's something that it's nowhere near where it was, was it last May or June or whenever, where I was just having trouble standing up straight for days on end.
"That's a whole different ... I think it's probably related to that as far as the same area and all that. But it's nothing like it was then."
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.