CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox are sticking with a six-to-eight week timeline for Eloy Jimenez after the outfielder had surgery to repair a torn hamstring tendon behind his right knee.
Jimenez got hurt during Saturday’s 9-2 loss at Minnesota when he stretched for first base while running out a grounder to third. The 25-year-old slugger stumbled after the play and his right knee appeared to lock up.
Jimenez’s injury is similar to the one that sidelined White Sox catcher Yasmani Grandal for almost two months last season. Right-hander Lance Lynn also is on the injured list with a similar issue after he was pulled from his final start of spring training with right knee discomfort.
“On the positive side of things, we obviously have some track record here and feel pretty confident in that six-to-eight-week return timeframe being the outer bounds, depending on any potential setbacks,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said.
Jimenez was sidelined for much of last year after he ruptured his left pectoral tendon trying to make a catch on a home run during a spring training game. He played in 55 games during the pandemic-shortened season in 2020, batting .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs.
He hit 31 homers in 122 games as a rookie in 2019, and Hahn disputed the idea that Jimenez is injury-prone.
“Just couldn’t be further from the truth,” Hahn said. “In terms of the fact that he’s missing significant time this year and last year, that’s the extent that you could call the guy injury-prone.
“He made a bad decision last year trying to make a play. This year, again, trying to get to a level that he had barely accessed all year. That’s more a guy … trying to do everything he can to help his team win, even if it’s perhaps not the right decision at that time. That’s not a guy who’s injury-prone.”
The White Sox have been hit hard by injuries already this season, and it has caught up to them in the past week. The reigning AL Central champions had dropped seven in a row before Tuesday night’s game against Kansas City.
Center fielder Luis Robert (groin strain) and third baseman Yoan Moncada (right oblique strain) ran the bases before the matchup with the Royals. Robert could return as soon as Wednesday, which was moved up from a night game to an afternoon start because of cold weather in the forecast. Moncada could start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte as soon as this weekend.
Hahn said Joe Kelly (right biceps nerve) is going to make at least one more appearance at extended spring training in Arizona, and the reliever also could join Charlotte this weekend for a rehab assignment.
Closer Liam Hendriks is day to day after he tweaked his back Sunday. Manager Tony La Russa said Hendriks slipped between the ninth and 10th innings of a 6-4 loss to the Twins.
Asked if Hendriks was affected by the slip in his final inning, La Russa responded: “He says no.”
Lynn had surgery April 5 and is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks.
The White Sox overcame injuries to Jimenez, Robert and Grandal on their way to 93 wins and the division title last year.
“We know the strategy, concentrate on what we have and not what we don’t have,” La Russa said. “It’s not all that smart but just real true. Just have to have the guys that know that it’s a team game and somebody has an opportunity, going to step up.”
Also Tuesday, the White Sox reinstated reliever Matt Foster from the family leave list and optioned outfielder Adam Haseley to Triple-A. The 27-year-old Foster has no record and a 1.42 ERA in five relief appearances this season.