White Sox manager Tony La Russa didn’t completely rule out a Thursday return for outfielder Eloy Jiménez. But he didn’t seem optimistic either.
“Fingers crossed for tomorrow,” La Russa said before the White Sox’ game at Oakland Wednesday. “That's a pretty quick turnaround. Kind of surprised if he plays tomorrow, hopefully he can play Friday.”
Jiménez left the White Sox’ 6-3 win against the A’s on Tuesday with a right knee contusion, three innings after taking a sharp foul ball to the knee in the dugout. X-rays came back negative, according to the team. Jiménez recorded a hit and scored a run in the fifth before exiting.
“It was getting worse,” Jiménez said Wednesday. “At the beginning, it was a little bit sore, but fifth inning, it started getting worse.
“But today, I feel much better.”
Wednesday was a treatment day for Jiménez.
“He's got a significant bone bruise there,” La Russa said. “… He got smoked.”
The Oakland Coliseum doesn’t have protective fencing at the front of its dugouts, which allowed the foul ball to zip straight through and hit Jiménez. A line of White Sox players stood in front of Jiménez, who was sitting on the bench, during Andrew Vaughn’s second-inning at-bat. They jumped aside as the foul ball sped towards them.
“I was paying attention to the game,” Jiménez said, “but I never expect a foul ball to come into my knee.”
Even coaching in Oakland for years, La Russa said hadn’t seen anyone beamed by a foul ball in the dugout quite like that.
“They are far removed from the playing field,” La Russa said of the dugouts. “… You can usually avoid it. The ones that get you sometimes ricochet. I guarantee you, two more games here, our guys will have their gloves ready to protect.”
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson had another idea.
“This dugout’s dangerous; they do need fences,” he told reporters in Oakland. “I'm going to have whole catcher’s gear on.”