Just when White Sox injuries were becoming easy and projectable in their recovery times (‘John Danks will be ready by Spring Training’, ‘Kevin Youkilis needs to rest his knee just one game’), we get hit with this.
Or, more literally, Paul Konerko was hit in the side of the head with an incidental elbow from Jerome Dyson, and now is dealing with the after-effects of a mild concussion. Such injuries produce timelines so wishy-washy, you wind up suspecting if the person delivering the news has the same ailment.
“There have been some serious things with concussions, so he’s got to get evaluated (Friday),” said Ventura, adding that Konerko said he didn’t sleep well. “There is the seven-day (disabled list) if it’s too bad. I don’t know if it’s there, but he does have a mild one. So it was more of a precaution to keep him out. In no way could he have played (Wednesday).
It was both just a precaution to keep him out, but at the same time, it was impossible for Konerko to have played and he may miss a week. Tack on that Ventura claimed before the game that Konerko was simply sore and available to play if needed, and it appears that it’s a new era of opaqueness in regards to the team explaining injuries.
But concussions are a black box where honest guesses may later come off as subterfuge anyway. “Mild” is a wide-ranging category that lumps in a lot of injuries that simply don’t merit a higher classification. I’ve personally had two “mild” concussions, but never experienced the day-after problems Konerko is apparently dealing with, and feel confident that relating my experiences to his is a pretty big waste of time.
Konerko’s symptoms could clear up and he could play Friday, or the handy-dandy 7-day DL for concussions could come into play. The horrific memory of Justin Morneau’s career being thrown into a tailspin looms over the entire process, but the lack of mention of Konerko having an extensive concussion history hopefully means that’s off the table.
Since he’s not being re-evaluated till Friday, it might be hard to make a quick response to what they find. Obviously Konerko being fine is the optimal scenario, but second-best would be a quick decision to DL him and call up Quad-A superstar Dan Johnson, who at least stands a better chance of contributing than ‘Orlando Hudson-Designated Hitter’.
Any glimpse of the offensive efforts against terrible pitching the last two nights reveals that this is a significant blow, but at least it strikes somewhere where there’s a hint of organizational depth.
Just a day after discussing how the White Sox needed their primary offensive core to hold up over the last two months, the wear and tear of a long season is popping up everywhere. With Detroit all set to tie things up, swift recoveries by men over 30 are a must.