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Progress for Jones, Lindstrom, Garcia

CHICAGO – Tuesday's rainy conditions couldn’t keep injured Chicago White Sox reliever Nate Jones from playing a little game of catch.

Jones, who hasn’t pitched since undergoing a back procedure in April, tossed a ball at a measured velocity for the second consecutive day and was one of three injured players who said Tuesday that his recovery is on track.

Reliever Matt Lindstrom (ankle) and outfielder Avisail Garcia (shoulder) also are on schedule with their recoveries.

Jones threw a ball from about 75 feet Tuesday after playing catch at about 55 feet a day earlier. While his recovery is going well, a definitive timetable for his return has not yet been set.

“The goal is to stay healthy throughout,” said Jones, who has always been expected to pitch before the season ends. “I think we got through that first stage of just being a regular person, and now it’s staying healthy and becoming a pitcher. I don’t know how long that’s going to take. We’ll take it one day at a time.”

Jones’ back procedure helped relieve pressure on a nerve that was causing him back discomfort.

Lindstrom was walking around in a protective boot on his left foot, one day after getting his cast removed and the stitches taken out of his surgery suture. He had surgery to repair a sheath protecting an ankle tendon.

“I’m just going to follow what the doctors have to say and everything like that,” Lindstrom said. “There is no timetable as far as when exactly [my return] is going to be, but I’m looking forward to getting back on the mound. It will be this year for sure, though.”

After suggesting recently that he might be able to come back before the season ends, Garcia backed off that bold prediction. As far as the White Sox are concerned, Garcia will not play again this year, after having surgery on his left rotator cuff.

Being out of action has been so tough on the outfielder, whose 23rd birthday is Thursday, that he finds it difficult to even watch White Sox games. When he is at the ballpark getting treatment, he leaves before the game starts, and when the team is on the road, he can’t bear to watch on television.

“For me, it’s a lot because I’ve been waiting for this for a long time,” Garcia said. “I was with the Tigers [previously], so I didn’t have too much playing time there. I came here to get a chance to play every day, and then I got injured. It’s tough, but I’m just believing in God and getting strong in my shoulder.”

Garcia said he still has another eight weeks of strenuous rehab and probably wouldn’t be able to play in a rehab game for three months, so that timetable nixes a return to the major leagues this year. White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams has said the club is agreeable to letting Garcia play in winter ball.

“I feel great right now, but I can’t swing because it’s going to hurt,” Garcia said. “You have to rehab a lot to make it back.”