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Konerko misses second straight game

CHICAGO -- For a second straight game, Paul Konerko was out of the White Sox starting lineup with a stiff back.

"It's still the same, and he's got to get it better," manager Robin Ventura said. "There's probably a chance for him to swing it if we need it, but not enough for him to start."

Ventura has helped Konerko handle his 15th season with the White Sox by starting him 34 games at first base, compared to 39 games for Adam Dunn, and 33 at designated hitter, compared to 28 for Dunn. It's a plan Konerko was prepared for back in Spring Training.

After a slow start to the season, Konerko has hit .346 with two homers and nine RBIs over his last 14 games. Ventura hopes those numbers continue to rise once the 37-year-old gets through this nagging injury.

"There's days it's a little harder than others, but it's still fun. He still enjoys it," said Ventura of Konerko. "You can tell with the work he puts in and everything he does that he enjoys it. But everybody goes through this.

"He does a lot to keep himself in shape. It's just, nature does run its course as far as physical stuff and that's going to happen. It's worth it. I don't think he'd change it. It's just something that happens and he's one of the fortunate ones it's been able to happen to."

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