White Sox take Eloy Jimenez off rehab assignment

White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez is dealing with “normal leg soreness” and will be taken off his rehab assignment at Triple-A Charlotte, general manager Rick Hahn said Thursday.

Jimenez had surgery to repair a torn hamstring tendon behind his right knee on April 26. He exited his first rehab assignment game on May 28 when he felt discomfort and has played in six games in 11 days since then, going 4-for-17 with no extra base hits.

Jimenez will be out at least five days, and Hahn said the hope is Jimenez restarts the 20-day rehab clock next week. It’s possible he won’t need all 20 days.

“Doing this move allows us to remove any of the time pressure from the original 20-day clock,” Hahn said.

Hahn would not characterize the Jimenez development as a setback. He said catcher Yasmani Grandal and Lance Lynn, who had similar surgeries, experienced the same type of soreness Jimenez is dealing with.

“It it’s not a new injury. It’s not a reaggravation,” Hahn said.

Wednesday would have been the 11th day of the rehab stint. The limit for injury rehab stints is 20 days.

The Sox (26-28) play the Dodgers Thursday afternoon, still looking to get a struggling offense untracked and have looked forward to getting Jimenez back to add some punch. A career .268/.314/.499 hitter with an .813 OPS, injuries have limited Jimenez to 55 games last season and 11 this season.

He was batting .222/.256/.333 with a .590 OPS when he tore his hamstring running out a ground ball in Minnesota.

Jimenez belted 31 homers as a rookie in 2019 but has hit only 25 since then. He played 55 of 60 games in the shortened 2020 season and won a Silver Slugger Award as the best offensive player at his position.

Lynn next week?

Lance Lynn texted La Russa that he “felt good” despite give up eight runs (seven earned) in three innings in what could have been his last rehab start for Charlotte Wednesday.

“He’s optimistic he’ll join us [next week],” La Russa said. “The thing now is to evaluate how he feels today and tomorrow before they make the final decision, but he was optimistic.”

*Hahn didn’t commit to a rehab assignment for shortstop Tim Anderson (groin) next week but that’s the hope.

“We’re not quite there yet, but he’s progressing real nice,” Hahn said.

Burger’s impact

Jake Burger has been a livesaver with his contribution in a lineup full of non-producers.

Burger is 10-for-36 with three homers, four doubles and 11 RBI over his last 10 games.

“He’s making a real statement, and normally if you prolong that, you find a way to get in there,” manager Tony La Russa said. “But, again, players can be distracted by their success, or the manager talking about [him.] But what you want him to do is concentrate on the day he plays for as long as he’s here. And if he keeps doing it, obviously you can’t ignore it. But, it’d be a mistake to start thinking long term, like ‘Maybe I should buy a house.’ He’s gotta concentrate on the moment.”

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