HOUSTON -- If you needed a clue on how Avisail Garcia feels he provided plenty when he danced around the clubhouse on Saturday morning.
The White Sox outfielder is finally well enough to play after he missed five straight games with right knee inflammation. The timing is good for the White Sox, who are without Jose Abreu after he exited Friday’s game with a swollen right index finger.
“It would be something else if (Garcia) couldn’t go today but there was a chance of him going yesterday,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We were just making sure he could get out here and run around like he did yesterday and then do a little bit today and make sure he was fine.”
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Before Saturday, Garcia hadn’t played since he exited Monday’s contest in Toronto after 1 1/2 innings. He also missed two games last weekend and had been removed from several others after he injured the knee on May 17 in Oakland.
Garcia, who is hitting .327/.365/.456 with four homers and 18 RBIs in 39 games, has talked about the frustration of not playing.
Ventura said Garcia looked good when he ran on the field and took batting practice and fly balls before Friday’s game. The fourth-year manager acknowledged Garcia could be benefiting from adrenaline and advised him to not try and be a hero --- “there’s no reason to fake it,” Ventura said.
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Garcia probably couldn’t fake the enthusiasm he showed in the clubhouse on Saturday morning or again during pregame stretch.
“He’s very excited,” Ventura said. “He probably woke up early. He might have been the Little Leaguer dressed at nine in the morning to get out here. He’s as excited as he could be.”