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Avisail sits again, hopes to return by Monday

Outfielder taking it slow with knee injury; Saladino, Gonzalez nearing returns
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- Avisail Garcia missed his third straight game on Saturday with soreness in his left knee, but he believes he will be back for Monday's series and road trip opener in Oakland at the latest.

"Tomorrow or Monday for sure. For sure Monday, but maybe tomorrow. We'll see what happens," Garcia said. "But I feel better. Way, way better now. I can move now my knee better. Since it's the knee, we'll see what happens."

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CHICAGO -- Avisail Garcia missed his third straight game on Saturday with soreness in his left knee, but he believes he will be back for Monday's series and road trip opener in Oakland at the latest.

"Tomorrow or Monday for sure. For sure Monday, but maybe tomorrow. We'll see what happens," Garcia said. "But I feel better. Way, way better now. I can move now my knee better. Since it's the knee, we'll see what happens."

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"We're just taking it a little slow," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "He feels good. I saw him this morning. At the earliest tomorrow, and hopefully at the latest the beginning of the series in Oakland."

Garcia plans to test the knee Sunday by taking pregame batting practice, which he has avoided since the injury. Sunday also could be a big day for the 26-year-old in that it could bring his first American League All-Star selection. American and National League All-Star rosters will be unveiled at 6 p.m. CT Sunday on the "Esurance All-Star Selection Show" on ESPN, prior to the network's 7 p.m. CT "Sunday Night Baseball" telecast featuring the Nationals at the Cardinals.

"I'm in a better position right now because I've been learning," said Garcia of his .318 first-half average, 11 home runs and 51 RBIs, despite being mired in a current 1-for-23 slump. "I'm still learning. We're still working, and I'm going to try to get better every year, every day."

More injury progress?

Infielder Tyler Saladino (back spasms) looked fluid taking infield on Saturday morning and could be going on an injury rehab assignment soon. The same is true for right-handed pitcher Miguel Gonzalez (A/C joint inflammation).

"We needed to make sure that he's symptom-free," said Renteria of Saladino. "He's been taking ground balls since we got home, the second or third day we got home, and we're trying to progress it, every day find out to see if his symptoms have increased or diminished or are non-existent.

"So far, so good. He's been feeling very comfortable."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Avisail Garcia