Paul Konerko expected to return from concussion Friday

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Paul Konerko is on the seven-day concussion disabled list after taking a Jarrod Dyson elbow to the head on August 7, but the White Sox slugger is expected to be back in the lineup tomorrow night.

Konerko reported no problems while taking batting practice and playing catch Wednesday, and manager Robin Ventura indicated that he’ll serve as Chicago’s designated hitter versus the Royals (and Dyson).

If he’s able to return Friday that would mean Konerko will have missed seven games. Earlier this season Konerko also had a bone chip removed from his wrist and was hit in the face by a pitch, but in between injuries the 36-year-old has hit .316 with 18 homers and an .892 OPS in 101 games.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.