Chicago White Sox's Eloy Jimenez returns to team, set to be activated this week

CHICAGO -- The White Sox are on the verge of getting a middle-of-the-lineup slugger back from injury, as outfielder Eloy Jimenez is set to be activated in the next day or two, manager Tony La Russa said Tuesday.

Jimenez, 25, was greeted by teammates in the White Sox clubhouse after completing a 17-game rehab assignment. He has been out since injuring his hamstring while running to first base in late April. The team will take it slow with his return, deploying him both in left field and as the designated hitter.

"He did enough in the minor leagues to play in the outfield," La Russa said. "We'll go day-to-day. I don't know how realistic it is to play him three straight days in the outfield."

Jimenez has been oft injured over the past two seasons, rupturing a pectoral muscle in spring training last year before injuring his hamstring this season. He has a career 116 OPS-plus but has only 270 plate appearances over the past two seasons.

"The bottom line is, he's a very important guy to us so whatever it takes to get him right, he's a high priority," La Russa said.

Jimenez hit .246 with two home runs in 57 at-bats during his rehab stint at Triple-A Charlotte before returning to the big league club.