CHICAGO -- The pain in his surgically repaired left ankle is
so severe that Frank Thomas has trouble walking out of the
clubhouse after games.
"It's a 10 right now, a real 10," Thomas said Friday, rating
his pain level.
Struggling at the plate with a .219 average despite hitting 12
homers in 105 at-bats for the Chicago White Sox, Thomas was put
back on the 15-day disabled list Friday.
"The pain kept getting worse and worse and the inflammation is
really bad," Thomas said Friday. "It was affecting my play. I'm
not helping the team at all anyway."
Thomas broke a bone in his left ankle July 6, 2004, and had
surgery last October before beginning this season on the DL. He was
activated May 30.
Rest and ice have been prescribed for the two-time MVP.
"When I leave here at night, it's hard to walk out of here. So
it had gotten to the point I needed to take a break," Thomas said.
"I need to get semi-healthy so I can come back and do my thing.
Right now I can't do my thing. I'm just wasting at-bats. I was
facing a lefty and he was throwing 89 and I couldn't get to it and
I knew something was wrong."
Thomas had 26 RBI in 34 games but wasn't able to play in the
field. The White Sox recalled Ross Gload from Triple-A Charlotte to
take his roster spot.
Gload, bothered by a sore shoulder, had been on a rehab
assignment with the minor league team. He was taken off the DL and
then optioned to Charlotte. Now, just that quickly, he's back and
will give the White Sox a versatile left-handed hitter who can
spell Paul Konerko at first base.
After being out nearly a year, Thomas showed quickly he could
still hit homers. But he was not comfortable at the plate as the
pain increased and his average plummeted.
"I appreciate the way he played for me when he was in pain
because he was running the bases right. I appreciate what he did
for the team. It's not easy when you go out there and you have a
lot of pain," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.
Thomas is a career .307 hitter with 448 home runs and 1,465
Asked if could ever regain the form that once made him one of
the game's top hitters, Thomas said: "Who knows?"
"It's very disappointing," Thomas said. "But this team is
about winning and it's not about one player. Right now I think the
level of play I was putting out there was not helping this team."