White Sox injury notes: Paul Konerko returns; Gordon Beckham sidelined

Kyle Rivas

Brent Morel optioned to make room for captain, who has played in just one game since June 23

We know this much about Paul Konerko's back: He was able to complete a rehab stint. It doesn't sound like much, but playing three consecutive games wasn't possible dating back to late June, so, hey.

Konerko went 4-for-10 with a walk over his three games with the Barons, including a 3-for-4 game on Saturday.

So he's back in the mix, albeit unofficially. The White Sox optioned Brent Morel to Charlotte after Sunday's game, and Konerko's return will be announced sometime today.

Phil Rogers made the trip to Alabama for Konerko's rehab stint, and came away with a nice column setting the stage for what could be his final two months. Konerko isn't trying to think that far ahead:

Konerko has had a lot of time to ponder his future but said he hasn't resolved whether he will pursue another contract when this one, his sixth in 15 seasons with the White Sox, expires at season's end.

"I made a goal at the start of the season that I wanted to be present every day and not think beyond the end of the season,'' Konerko said. "You make a lot of goals when you're a baseball player. Most of the ones I made (this year) aren't going to happen. But that's one that I can still fulfill.''

If Konerko can't rally from his frustrating first half -- .249/.314/.368 with just seven home runs -- at least he's not going to be letting anybody down. The White Sox are in last place, so playing a hampered Konerko isn't going to make or break the season. That makes it easier to enjoy whatever he has left, without being patronizing, anyway.

Although Sox fans have to remember that it's not officially a farewell tour. Every over-ovation to a Konerko feat could be treated as the chorus asking, "JUST SO WE'RE CLEAR, YOU'RE RETIRING, RIGHT?" That's a little awkward, so while Konerko is trying to remain in the present, I'd appreciate any advance notice so I know how to interpret future events.

Should Konerko play first upon returning, he won't have his protege next to him.

Gordon Beckham missed Sunday's game with a wrist strain -- the same one he had surgically repaired:

"Just took a couple of swings and put the weight on the bat and just took kind of an awkward swing, I guess, and felt something on the back of my hand," Beckham said.

He played Friday and Saturday with the wrist taped but knew something wasn’t right, so he had it examined by a team doctor Saturday night.

"He essentially said the ligament came off the bone, and I know that sounds bad. But it apparently is just a strain," Beckham said. "It’s just like if you strained or sprained an ankle or something like that. It will take a little bit of time but hopefully not too long."

He's right -- that does sound bad. The phrase "came off the bone" immediately brings to mind Jake Peavy twisting and shouting, and not in the fun way.

It doesn't sound like it will require a DL stint, but it sounds like it could be a recurring problem through the rest of the season, which could make trading Alexei Ramirez a little more complicated, if they're even considering it.

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