White Sox put 1B Paul Konerko on disabled list

Updated: June 17, 2008, 7:10 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox's veteran first baseman Paul Konerko has a new experience and it's not one he wanted. He's landed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

"I'm a little bit lost," Konerko said Tuesday as he discussed his injury, a strained left oblique muscle he got while hitting in the batting cage Sunday.

"I was actually probably about two swings away from being done for the day. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary," he said. "I swung and kind of released with my top hand, which I do a lot anyway. It didn't hurt, I just felt something give. I stepped out for a sec, then got back in and tried to take two swings. Then it was sore."

Konerko had an MRI taken and went on the DL Tuesday. His injury is one that can linger if not treated properly or rushed, and that's why he can't do anything for the first week but rest.

Teammate Jim Thome had a similar injury last season -- a strained rib cage muscle -- and was on the DL for three weeks.

"You have to allow it to heal, then you're fine. But right now, it's painful to even raise my voice or even to laugh, or cough or anything like that," Konerko said.

Konerko has struggled this season and was batting .215 with eight homers and 30 RBIs for the AL Central leaders. In a perfect world, he'd come back after two weeks and be a more productive player.

"Obviously this year isn't going the way I'd like it to go personally, but, you know, if I get big hits and have a good three months when I come off of this thing," he said.

"If I get going and we go to the playoffs -- that's fine with me. If it's not the year I wanted, I can deal with that. I've had other bad years, years that weren't up to my capabilities. It's not fun. You'd rather have great years every year, but the main thing is the team's doing well."

Konerko, who broke in with the Dodgers at the end of the 1997 season, entered this year as a .281 career hitter and 276 homers -- 269 of them with the White Sox, whom he joined in 1999.

Nick Swisher, who's made 52 starts in the outfield and another 13 at first base this season, will stay at first during Konerko's absence. Swisher said he had a similar injury while playing college baseball.

"You can't do anything. Because every time you try to test it again you'll just reinjure it and start from ground zero again," Swisher said.

"I want him to get healthy and I want him to get back and I know he wants to be on that field, but I told him I'll keep first base nice and warm for him."

The White Sox purchased the contract of outfielder DeWayne Wise from Triple-A Charlotte. Wise played in six games with Chicago in May, going 0-for-5 before he was designated for assignment. He got the start Tuesday night in center field against the Pirates.

The White Sox also sent right-hander Esteban Loaiza on an injury rehabilitation assignment to Charlotte. He was placed on the disabled list on June 13 with right shoulder inflammation.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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