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Lindstrom wants to be White Sox closer

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DETROIT -- The most pressing issue on Matt Lindstrom's agenda is returning from late May surgery to repair a damaged tendon sheath in his left ankle. He threw another simulated game to Avisail Garcia before Tuesday's regular-season contest and seems ready for a Minor League rehab assignment.

Once Lindstrom returns, which could be after two or three Minor League appearances, he can think a bit about the future while trying to succeed in the present. Lindstrom had his $4 million club option picked up by the White Sox for 2014, and the strong veteran bullpen influence and potential free agent would like to pitch again for the White Sox in 2015.

"I'd like to keep closing," said the 34-year-old, who has a 3.32 ERA and six saves in nine chances this season. "With this time off, hopefully I can step back up in there and have the stuff I pitched with before.

"Maybe I won't be throwing 100, but I'm confident and nothing really bothers me. So, that would be the most important thing, I think. It's not like I don't want to go out when something is bothering me. If you are injured, you are injured. If you are hurt, that's a different thing."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said that Lindstrom probably wouldn't leave on a rehab assignment until the team returns from the road on Friday. Lindstrom felt as good as he has in a long time throwing Tuesday, being loose, fluid and solid with all of his mechanics from an arm standpoint, and making the plays when tested in the field.

"These next seven weeks are important not only personally, but I take it pretty serious as far as just not wanting to get injured," Lindstrom said. "I take pride in being out in the field and trying to not necessarily put up numbers but help my team win.

"I'm just trying to get better each year and have a long career. I would definitely like to come back to Chicago. I wanted to sign here when I was a free agent the first time. It has to be mutual. I'm just worried about pitching these last six or seven weeks.

I've been working hard to get myself back, but I don't like that time off," Lindstrom said. "We have time off in the offseason. During baseball season, it's time to work and grind it out. That's what these guys have been doing. I just want to be part of that."

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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