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Abreu could sit day after early exit

HOUSTON -- Jose Abreu left in the seventh inning of the White Sox 6-5 loss to the Astros on Saturday at Minute Maid Park when Paul Konerko pinch-hit for the slugger.

Abreu has been bothered by ongoing left ankle soreness, leading manager Robin Ventura to use him at designated hitter for the past eight games. But it was a particular swing during an Abreu at-bat in the fifth that truly raised the red flag for Ventura.

"He took a swing there in the middle before we took him out, and it just looked awkward," Ventura said. "We talked to him, it's sore. It's like he takes a couple of steps forward, a couple steps back. We took him out and we'll re-evaluate him after today. It just looked like he might do something else that might injure something else. We just took him out as a precaution right now."

Abreu has tried to avoid taking a day or two off, aside from Thursday's scheduled off-day for the team. But Abreu was noticeably limping for most of Saturday and moved slowly back to the dugout after hitting into an inning-ending double play in the first.

After Saturday's setback, both for the team and Abreu, he seemed resigned to the fact that a physical health break was in order. Ventura added that Abreu almost certainly won't play Sunday.

"It definitely hurts more today than yesterday," Abreu said through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "The most important thing is that I get to be healthy. If we have to take a break or whatever, then that's what it will be. The most important thing is to be in the field and be healthy."

When asked if a stint on the disabled list was possible, Abreu deferred to the doctors who will re-evaluate him on Sunday.

"That's something I don't know," Abreu said. "We'll let them check it up and then let me know what's going on. I'm sure we'll make the decision from there."

Despite leading the Majors with 15 homers, 27 extra-base hits and 103 total bases, Abreu is 4-for-26 over his last seven games.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin.
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