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Eloy Jimenez sits out again with hip injury but says he’ll be back soon

Rick Renteria said Jimenez was available off the bench if necessary, but he did not want to risk further injury.

Houston Astros v Chicago White Sox
Eloy Jimenez runs the bases after hitting his 20th home run of the season Aug. 14 against the Astros at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Eloy Jimenez remained out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive game Friday because of a hip injury.

But the 22-year-old rookie says not to worry.

“I think it’s just a couple of days and I’ll be back to normal,” Jimenez said before the White Sox’ game against the Rangers.

Leury Garcia started in left field in place of Jimenez. Adam Engel started in center field and Jon Jay in right.

Manager Rick Renteria said Jimenez was available off the bench if necessary. But he did not want to put the affable youngster, who has hit .241 with 22 home runs and 52 RBI in 91 games, at risk for further injury.

Jimenez likely would return to the lineup Saturday, Renteria said.

“I’m just trying to be very cautious,” Renteria said. “Two days doesn’t hurt him to be off his feet and [the] field. He’s still doing all the things he needs to do to be prepared to play. Just trying to give him an opportunity to get it back and better.”

Jimenez acknowledged that it has been difficult to stay patient with several injury setbacks this season.

“A little bit, yeah,” Jimenez said. “Because they started to happen when I was feeling good at the plate.”

Already, Jimenez ranks eighth in franchise history in home runs by a rookie. His next long ball will tie him for sixth place with Josh Fields (2007) and Bill Melton (1969).

Jose Abreu owns the Sox’ record with 36 homers as a rookie in 2014. Ron Kittle is second on the list with 35 in 1983.

Honoring a friend

Almost two months later, Sox ace Lucas Giolito still struggles to process the death of Tyler Skaggs, his friend and high school teammate.

Giolito thought about Skaggs again as he wore “LOVE YOU TY” on the back of his jersey for the start of Players’ Weekend. Skaggs, who pitched for the Angels, died at 27 on July 1.

“It’s weird,” Giolito said. “It’s just weird day by day. He’s not here anymore.

“The biggest thing for me is when I think about his family. Obviously his parents and [his widow] Carli, knowing that they were just about to start a family and all that, it’s really tough to process. I just feel so badly for them. But all we can do is be there and lend our support in every way possible and continue to honor him and his memory.”

Giolito also honors Skaggs with messages on his hat.

“I’ve got ‘RIP 45’ and ‘BTS,’ which means ‘Bring the Spark’ — that was, like, his thing,” Giolito said.

Small Fry

The Sox put left-hander Jace Fry on the paternity list Friday and recalled right-hander Jose Ruiz from Class AAA Charlotte.

Fry will remain on the paternity list for up to three days, the team announced.

Ruiz, 24, entered the game with a 1-2 record and a 5.45 ERA in 34 relief appearances this season.