TORONTO — The White Sox hope to have All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson back in three weeks, manager Tony La Russa said on Tuesday.
Anderson, who needed help exiting the field in the fifth inning of Sunday’s game against the Cubs, landed on the 10-day IL with a strained right groin ahead of the White Sox series opener against the Blue Jays. The move is retroactive to May 29.
“The good news is that it could be worse,” La Russa said before Tuesday’s game. “It’s still three long weeks for us, but it could have been more damaging.”
Hit by a series of injury woes of late, Chicago’s challenge is now to replace their leadoff hitter and one of the most prolific offensive players in the game. Anderson was hitting .356 with an .896 OPS, five home runs, 19 RBIs and eight stolen bases before landing on the IL.
“He’s our ignitor,” La Russa said.
Anderson is getting daily treatment and will eventually work up to rehabilitation and conditioning exercises, as well as throwing. The 28-year-old isn’t expected to need many live at-bats before returning to Major League action once his rehab is complete.
The White Sox loss of their star infielder was somewhat mitigated by the return of outfielder Luis Robert, who was activated from the COVID-19 IL ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jays. Robert, who hasn’t played since May 22, was held out of the starting lineup as he deals with some illness-related fatigue. But La Russa hasn’t ruled out a return as early as Wednesday.
“Somewhere between an outside chance and a reasonable chance,” the manager said of Robert being the designated hitter on Wednesday. “We’re anxious to see when he’s game-ready. He’s got to build up his stamina.”
Robert leads the team in home runs with six and was hitting for a .285 average with 17 RBIs before contracting COVID.
“I’m here, so I’m ready to play whenever the manager puts me in,” Robert said before Tuesday’s game.