Abreu out vs. Twins with ankle inflammation

May 17th, 2021

White Sox first baseman will miss the Twins series with left ankle inflammation, as announced Monday evening by the team ahead of the opener.

Abreu endured a violent collision with the Royals’ Hunter Dozier near home plate as he chased Dozier’s foul popup in the second inning of Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader, but he returned Saturday to hit a home run among his two hits. He also tallied two hits Sunday and scored the walk-off run on a Wade Davis wild pitch thanks to a great break off third base and a slick slide to beat Cam Gallagher’s tag.

But it was that slide that is causing an issue for Abreu, who enters this series with 999 games played during his stellar career. X-rays were negative and an MRI showed the inflammation.

“Last night, when we landed in Minnesota, I felt an intense pain in my left ankle due to my slide at home plate that helped us win the game against Kansas City,” said Abreu in a comment on the injury from the White Sox. “Even though I was afraid and concerned at first, I am now relieved knowing the pain I experienced was just inflammation in my left ankle.

“At this moment, I am feeling better, but still in pain. I’ll be getting treatment to come back ready to play as soon as possible. I’m keeping a positive mindset and attitude.”

The hope is for Abreu to return for this weekend’s series at Yankee Stadium, following Thursday’s scheduled team off-day.

“It's good news and best news. The good news was it wasn't anything more serious,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “And the best news is, if we get through these three games in Minnesota without him, then an off-day, there's a possibility he'll play against the Yankees.

“We're not going to rush him back even then. We're all excited. He went through a lot of pain last night. But he's here now. They were kidding that they were going to put spikes on his boot that he had to play in. Just shows you everybody knows how tough he is. We'll find a way.”

La Russa stressed Saturday how Abreu went through every possible medical protocol to be cleared to play after Friday’s collision. He added Monday that Abreu’s ankle got turned in a “peculiar way” on the game-winning slide, leading to the injury.

“He's gotten beat up the last couple days, no doubt,” La Russa said. “He's due some rest.”

Rookie Andrew Vaughn, who has been solid in left field since being moved there after Eloy Jiménez’s Spring Training injury, will play his natural position of first base against the Twins. There was no consideration of a trip to the injured list for Abreu, who had played in 257 of his past 261 games before Monday.

“There's a good feeling that three days of treatment, an off-day -- might even get him to the ballpark on Thursday, just to get him a little work -- there's a good chance he'll play this weekend,” La Russa said. “If he needs another day or two, you give it to him. Knock on wood, it seems like we're going to have him sooner rather than later.”

Anderson pays tribute to Kobe

paid tribute to Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who was posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, by wearing purple and gold cleats in the White Sox contest against the Royals that night at Guaranteed Rate Field. Vanessa Bryant made a tremendous Hall of Fame speech for her husband, who tragically died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

“A tribute to Kobe,” Anderson said. “That's something Nike came along with; they sent me the spikes and I was happy to wear them. It was only right to honor one of the greats.”

Anderson led the Hillcrest High School basketball team in Tuscaloosa, Ala., to a state title as a senior in 2011.

Third to first

• La Russa was glad to see Albert Pujols join the Dodgers, having just sent him a text before talking to the media Monday.

“He wanted to play. He landed in an outstanding situation with a contender,” La Russa said. “You can’t overestimate the value of a guy like Albert around, whether he’s playing or not playing. Pleased for him. Glad he’s in the other league.”

• The White Sox have not lost back-to-back games since April 15-17, with a rainout on April 16. Their longest losing streak has been two games this season, which happened on April 3-4.

They said it

“Fortunately, we're deep [enough] to take some hits. A couple have been very severe. The guys want to be able to reward José with a win, just like we did the second game of that doubleheader.” -- La Russa, on Abreu missing the Twins series

“I feel great. I'm just at a point where I understand my work and I understand what I'm doing and knowing what guys are trying to do to me.” -- Anderson, who entered Monday hitting .383 with 10 runs scored during an 11-game hitting streak