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Pitching coach Cooper returns to White Sox

Pitching coach Cooper returns to White Sox

CHICAGO -- White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper returned to the dugout for Friday's series opener against the Twins after missing 11 games because of vertigo. Cooper was unable to travel because of the inner-ear issue and still didn't feel 100 percent, but felt good enough to be with the team.

Cooper also managed to keep a sense of humor about the whole situation, pointing out that he came back for a Chris Sale start, so he certainly hadn't lost all his wits.

"I've been tested, MRI on my brain and … they found nothing," said Cooper, pausing for a quick laugh while talking with the media.

"All I knew is I felt horrible. I felt sick. Throwing up violently and spinning for three days," said Cooper. "I said, 'Man, I would rather have diverticulitis than this.' I could go with a bad stomach. This stuff, I can't function. It's unmanageable. Then your mind starts to go to other places a little bit. Is it something else?"

Diverticulitis cost Cooper 10 games in 2013, but it was easier to deal with than vertigo as Cooper explained. He was able to gain a new perspective on the White Sox by watching them on television, the highlight of his days, and appreciated the fight of this squad, not to mention the 5-2 road trip. Manager Robin Ventura was glad to have Cooper back, but also wasn't sure at what capacity his pitching coach could function with his ongoing recovery.

"If he's capable of doing it, I'm sure he's going to do it," said Ventura of Cooper and mound visits, as an example. "Having talked to him over the course of the week and where he's at now, I know he's happy to be here, but he doesn't feel that great."

"You lean real quick that everything continues to go on whether you are here or not. It's funny how your mind works, too," Cooper said. "I know that health and family are the two most important things to anybody. But I'll tell you what -- you start to feel a little bit guilty that this is your job and you are not here. However crazy that is, that was in my mind."

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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