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Konerko returns to White Sox lineup

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- First baseman/designated hitter Paul Konerko returned to the White Sox lineup on Tuesday for the first time since June 23, after missing time with a sore back.

"There's always a little bit of hold your breath, don't know what to expect, even after playing a couple games, you miss 10 days and there's a little bit of suspense," Konerko said. "But the back is at a point where adrenaline will do it good. A game situation actually will make it all go away. There are times where you get back too soon on something and it's actually a hindrance and actually a lot worse than you thought. But it's at a point that last little bit of good being out there."

Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- First baseman/designated hitter Paul Konerko returned to the White Sox lineup on Tuesday for the first time since June 23, after missing time with a sore back.

"There's always a little bit of hold your breath, don't know what to expect, even after playing a couple games, you miss 10 days and there's a little bit of suspense," Konerko said. "But the back is at a point where adrenaline will do it good. A game situation actually will make it all go away. There are times where you get back too soon on something and it's actually a hindrance and actually a lot worse than you thought. But it's at a point that last little bit of good being out there."

Full Game Coverage

Konerko, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts hitting fifth as the DH in the 5-2 victory over the Orioles, said he took some swings on Saturday and felt he wasn't ready, though he could "see light at the end of the tunnel." He said rest was good at first, though, after a while, he felt sore from sitting or laying around.

"He understands where he's at and how he's doing," manager Robin Ventura said. "I think he's done a good job in the last couple years of being able to manage that. It's not always easy. Even hitting-wise, he's had a better stretch, so to speak, for the last few weeks that he was hitting better, just the at-bats. I don't think you push him aside and say he can't do this, this and this. He's still a quality hitter and a threat in the lineup. He will be productive."

Konerko hit .278 in the month of June with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs.

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chicago White Sox, Paul Konerko