CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu had hoped to return to the field before the season ended, but the White Sox slugger will sit out the remaining five games with a thigh infection, general manager Rick Hahn said before Wednesday's home finale against the Indians.
"The infection is healing, it's just not healing at a pace quickly enough for us to force him back into action these last five games," Hahn said. "We've decided for him to go home after today's game. He's not going to be in Minnesota [for the final series]."
Abreu was hospitalized Sept. 18 with the infection stemming from an ingrown hair on his right leg. He also missed time in late August and early September with testicular torsion.
The first baseman expressed his disappointment with the way the season ended before Wednesday's game.
"That is not the way I wanted to end the season, but you know what, like I always said, God does things for a reason and you have to take it," Abreu said. "I took this just like another challenge, and I am happy for what I did during the season. I didn't accomplish all the goals that I wanted to accomplish this year, but I think it was, on the personal side, a good season."
Abreu ended 2018 with a .265 batting average, 22 home runs, 78 RBIs and a .798 OPS, all career lows. This season was also the first of Abreu's career in which he finished with less than 600 plate appearances, however, and he became the first White Sox to win an All-Star Game fan vote since Frank Thomas in 1996.
Though his contract is up at the end of next season and the White Sox figure to continue rebuilding, Abreu said he hasn't given a lot of thought to his impending free agency. He did say, though, that he would like to remain with Chicago for the rest of his career.
"I haven't thought about what's going to happen after next season," Abreu said. "I'm just glad, and I feel blessed because I'm here in this organization, this organization that I really respect and I really love, and this organization that gave me the opportunity to play in the Majors.
"My mind and my hope is just to be part of this team for my whole career, and that's a discussion I've been having with my family, and that's what we all want, just to be part of this organization for my whole career."
The groin surgery and infection will not affect Abreu's offseason workout, he said. He will take October off before ramping up work in November to prepare for Spring Training.