White Sox shortstop Uribe delayed for spring training

Chicago White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe will be in a Dominican court Feb. 21, the same day his teammates will arrive in Arizona for spring training.

On Wednesday, the court set a hearing for that date for the defense team's "challenge for cause" in the case against the player.

Uribe, his brother Elpidio and a friend are accused of provoking a shooting in which two men were wounded Oct. 3 in Juan Baron, Dominican Republic, south of Santo Domingo.

The injured men were Antonio Gonzalez and Dandolin Alessandro. While Alessandro dropped the charges, Gonzalez hired a lawyer and sued the Uribe brothers and their friend.

In January, a judge ordered Uribe to show up in court the 15th and 30th of every month to prove he's not trying to flee, and ordered the sides to prepare for a preliminary audience.

The judge's order does not block Uribe from leaving the country but would require him to return to the Dominican Republic twice a month from Tucson, Ariz., where the White Sox have their camp.

The penal court, formed by five judges, should have ruled on Uribe's petition Wednesday to revoke the order to show up every 15 days to sign a check-up book.

They couldn't since they were previously recused. Although the procedure is a regular one, it is strange that the defense uses it since time is against Uribe.

"I am innocent and I don't care if I have to face to the ultimate consequences," Uribe told ESPNdeportes.com recently.

Uribe, 27, batted .235 with 21 home runs and 71 RBIs last season. He will be in his fourth season as the White Sox's starting shortstop.

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.