Nate Jones now aimed in 'right direction'

CHICAGO -- With a new rehab program in place, Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Nate Jones sounds optimistic he’s on the path for recovery from a back issue, but still does not have a timetable on a return.

Jones started spring training on the sideline with a gluteus muscle issue and returned only to have a hip problem. An MRI this week showed the problem was actually with nerves in his back and he was given an epidural shot.

“(The rehab) is a little bit different but I feel like we’re heading in the right direction and feel like we’re taking care of all the symptoms, strengthening the back and hip, all at the same time now,” Jones said Saturday morning.

Until Jones is much further along in his rehab program, manager Robin Ventura won’t hazard a guess as to when he might get back his hard-throwing right-hander.

“Until he’s out really throwing and doing something then we’ll start looking forward to that,” Ventura said. “But right now he’s just one of the guys that’s in there getting treated by (trainer) Herm (Schneider).”

Since back issues have a way of staying around for a long time, Jones is being diligent with his rehab.

“Obviously that crosses your mind but can’t really think about it too much,” he said. “Just have to keep doing the rehab, keep feeling good and if it comes back it comes back and you just have to deal with it. I just want to take it one day at a time right now.”