MRI exam on White Sox slugger Abreu negativeChicago White Sox's Jose Abreu breaks his bat as he flies out to left field against the Houston Astros in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- White Sox slugger Jose Abreu was prescribed rest for his inflamed left ankle after Monday's MRI exam showed no structural damage, the first bit of positive news for the injury-riddled club in quite some time.
The 27-year-old rookie, whose 15 homers leads the major leagues, left Saturday's game against Houston with a limp in the seventh inning. Abreu was placed on the disabled list Sunday.
''It is good news,'' White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. ''They've done all the tests and determined it is inflammation. We just have to make sure we get that out of there.''
Ventura declined to provide a timetable for Abreu's return. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko are expected to cover his place in the lineup, with Dunn playing first base and Konerko the designated hitter for Monday night's series opener in Kansas City.
Abreu set rookie records for home runs (10), RBIs (32), extra-base hits and total bases in April. He was hitting .260 with 41 RBIs in 44 games when he got hurt.
''You get him in the middle of your lineup, you're different,'' Ventura said. ''But you have to fill in and make do, and when he gets back you hope he picks up where he left off.''
The White Sox have grown accustomed to making do this season. Already they've had 164 games missed by players who were on their opening-day roster, while infielder Gordon Beckham - who began the season on the DL - has missed another 22 games.
Among those who have been out is left-hander Chris Sale, who went on the DL on April 22 with a left flexor muscle strain. The two-time All-Star reported no problems after tossing four shutout innings in a rehab start Friday, and said he felt good Monday after playing catch.
He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Tuesday in Kansas City.
''I'm not quite sure what the schedule has for me, but as for how I'm feeling, I feel good. I feel loose,'' Sale said. ''My rehab start felt great physically and being able to locate my pitches, and even between innings, getting loose, there was nothing I felt at any given time. It was a confidence booster for me.''
Sale hasn't pitched since April 17. He was 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA when he was shut down.
''I'm definitely ready,'' he said. ''Like I've said a million times, it's no fun sitting around watching games, especially watching other guys fill in for you. I signed up to pitch every fifth day and I haven't pitched in 35 days, it seems like. That stinks. There's no fun about that. But at the same time, I know better to hold off a little longer than rush it back.''
Ventura declined to provide a timetable for Sale's return, either.
''We'll have him out in the bullpen (Tuesday) and see how he throws and make a determination on what's next,'' Ventura said. ''The good news is he feels good and is continuing to progress.''