CLEVELAND -- The left elbow has improved and though his wrist is still sore it’s not enough to keep Trayce Thompson out of the lineup.
The rookie returned to the White Sox lineup and hit fifth on Friday evening after he had missed the previous three games with a hyperextended elbow. Thompson injured both his elbow and wrist while diving for a ball in Monday’s 14-inning victory over the Oakland A’s.
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A late scratch from Wednesday’s game, Thompson, who had a .377/.424/.689 slash line with four home runs in his first 66 plate appearances, wouldn’t be denied a second start even though he wore a tight-fitting glove on his left hand that sends electric currents into the wrist before the game.
“My wrist is a little sore but it’s just my bone,” Thompson said. “It’s just my wrist. With my elbow it could be a ligament or something so I can play through (the wrist) and I’ll be fine, I’ll have some adrenaline during the game. I played football growing up so I know what it’s like to play through stuff and it’s going to take a lot more to stop me from playing this game. I’m already not playing every day as it is so for me to not be able to medically play, it’s been killing me the last few days. I’m excited to get out there and be available.”
Whereas Thompson had trouble bending his elbow earlier in the week, he declared himself fit for action after he hit off a tee prior to Friday’s game. Thompson still wore a protective sleeve on his elbow but has much more flexibility only a few days after he feared the worst diving for a Brett Lawrie fly ball. Two days after he saw enough evidence to sit Thompson, White Sox manager Robin Ventura sounded convinced Friday’s left fielder is fine.
“He has declared himself well enough to play, but more than that, he’s declared himself healthy,” Ventura said. “That’s the biggest thing. We just didn’t want to rush him back in there if he didn’t feel he could do everything mechanically normal and not feel like he was protecting anything. That’s the biggest thing.”
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Thompson initially felt like he dodged a bullet with the injury as he feared much worse damage. Even though the glove on his wrist was shocking him -- “it’s not too bad,” he said -- Thompson is encouraged by his progress.
“My elbow feels great,” Thompson said. “That’s really exciting because the last few days has kind of felt, I couldn’t really extend it because I’d always want to kind of keep it bended or something. But I took some swings off the tee and I feel great.”