White Sox won't rush José Abreu back as MVP keeps taking lumps

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Sox won't rush Abreu back as MVP keeps taking lumps originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

It's hard to see an injury that sidelines a team's most important player for any length of time as good news.

But Tony La Russa had a positive outlook Monday, after it was announced that José Abreu would sit out of the White Sox three-game series this week in Minnesota.

"It's good news and best news," La Russa said. "The good news was it wasn't anything more serious. 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 (this weekend) against the (New York) Yankees."

RELATED: Abreu's MVP weekend provides World Series road map for Sox

Indeed, that is good news for the White Sox and their MVP, who suffered an ankle injury while scoring the game-winning run Sunday against the Kansas City Royals. That was just two days after Abreu was involved in a scary collision with Hunter Dozier that left him with a bruised and cut face, as well as a bruised knee.

In classic Abreu fashion, he said he wanted to stay in that game, hoped to play in the second game of that day's doubleheader and insisted on playing Saturday, getting the all-clear, getting into the lineup and getting ahold of a pitch for a home run in an inspirational moment for the clubhouse.

Abreu once more put his body on the line to give the White Sox a walk-off win Sunday. This time, though, it's one injury too many, even if the training staff was prepared for a little push back from the off-day-loathing first baseman.

"He went through a lot of pain last night," La Russa relayed. "But he's here now. They were kidding they were going to put spikes on his boot that he had to play in. Just shows you everybody knows how tough he is."

According to La Russa, the ankle injury is independent of all that affected Abreu from Friday's collision, coming when he slid into home plate in "peculiar" fashion Sunday.

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

The White Sox are confident that's all it will take to get Abreu back into the lineup. Four straight days off for the MVP — the three games in Minnesota and a scheduled off day for the team Thursday — could be enough to heal things up and return Abreu to action when the White Sox start a weekend series Friday in The Bronx.

But La Russa made it clear they wouldn't rush their team leader back. After all, the White Sox will need Abreu more than anyone as they continue baseball's months-long march toward the World Series.

"The way it was examined and the results, 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."

In the meantime, the White Sox will face off against the division-rival Minnesota Twins without their most important player.

That would have been a terrifying scenario for the South Siders back in the preseason, when the Twins were expected to present the biggest challenge to the White Sox reaching the top of the AL Central. A pivotal series in the Twin Cities without Abreu, Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert? Forget it.

But things have played out differently, the White Sox the owners of the best record in baseball and the Twins in possession of the game's worst win-loss mark.

So it will be Andrew Vaughn at first base for three days, with the whole clubhouse — heck, the entire South Side — hoping to see Abreu back there come Friday.

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