White Sox prospect Jake Burger out 12 months after another Achilles tear
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White Sox third-base prospect Jake Burger suffered a second tear of his left Achilles tendon and will be out another 12 months. Burger had surgery Tuesday after the injury, which happened last week in the backyard of his home in Arizona.
The development is a significant blow for Burger, the Sox’ first-round draft choice in 2017, in his recovery from a season-ending injury which occurred while running out a ground ball during a spring-training game. Burger already was set to miss the entire season after undergoing surgery.
Now Burger won’t be expected to return until around May 2019, which means he’ll return to action at age 23 with no experience above low A ball.
While general manager Rick Hahn expects Burger to have “no restrictions in the future with regards to his baseball career,” Burger is back to where he started in the recovery process.
“He had what is called a repair-revision of the tendon, also had some graft tissue attached to facilitate the healing,’’ Hahn said Wednesday. “And unfortunately for Jake, we are now back to square one.’’
The No. 11 overall draft pick out of Missouri State last June, Burger batted .271/.335/.409 with four home runs and 27 RBI over 200 plate appearances at Class A Kannapolis last season. He is ranked eighth among Sox prospects according to MLB Pipeline.
“He was walking in his backyard and took a step and unfortunately felt a pop,’’ Hahn said. “It appears nothing could’ve been done to prevent this, much like the first one, just something that happens. Doctors are very optimistic that the second repair will take, especially with the graft tissue attachment.
“Lousy setback for a great kid who’s been working hard, but as was the case with the first repair, the expectation is there’s to be no long-term effect on his baseball career. It’s just a matter of having lost the last 10 weeks of his rehabilitation and having to start over.”
Delmonico leaves game
Left fielder Nicky Delmonico suffered a bruised right quad when he collided with Pirates first baseman Josh Bell rounding first base. Delmonico played a half inning in the field before exiting. Leury Garcia moved from second base to left field and Jose Rondon took over at second base.
Bell also was shaken up momentarily but stayed in the game.
Hahn provided updates on other Sox health concerns:
† Left-hander Carlos Rodon made another start today in extended spring training and is nearing a minor-league rehab assignment “with one of our affiliates” in the coming weeks.
† Right fielder Avisail Garcia is expected to join a rehab assignment in the next week or so, and second baseman Yoan Moncada took ground balls Wednesday and “we remain optimistic that he’ll be able to rejoin us when his 10-day stint is up” Tuesday.
†Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (rotator cuff) expects to begin a rehab assignment Sunday at Class AAA Charlotte.
† Prized outfield prospect Luis Robert (left thumb) is ramping up activity at extended spring training and will play in games “in the coming weeks and then hopefully rejoin [Class A] Winston-Salem in the not-too-distant future.”
† Right-hander Alec Hansen, shut down during spring training with forearm soreness, threw off a mound for the first time Tuesday. “At this point he’s clinically fine,’’ Hahn said. “It’s just a matter of rebuilding the pitching strength and getting him into game shape.’’