MINNEAPOLIS — In a development no one saw coming, Jose Abreu will miss the series against the Twins with inflammation in his left ankle, suffered while sliding into the plate to end the White Sox’ 4-3 victory Sunday against the Royals.
X-rays were negative, and an MRI exam showed the inflammation, and even though Abreu felt “intense pain” when the team arrived in Minneapolis on Sunday night, manager Tony La Russa said “there is a possibility” Abreu will return for the Yankees series this weekend.
“But we’re not going to rush him back even then,” La Russa said. “He went through a lot of pain last night.”
Sunday wrapped up an eventful three days for Abreu. Knocked down Friday when he collided with the Royals’ Hunter Dozier, he missed the second game of that day’s doubleheader, somehow recovered in time to play Saturday and homered, then added two more hits Sunday before scoring the winning run.
Abreu said he was “afraid and concerned” Sunday night but was relieved Monday, knowing the pain was caused by nothing more serious than inflammation.
“At this moment, I feel better but still in pain,” he said. “I’ll be getting treatment to come back ready to play as soon as possible. I’m keeping a positive attitude.”
There was no indication after the slide or during the celebration that ensued after Abreu scored that he was hurt. He jumped up and down in the dugout after a replay challenge went the Sox’ way, ending the game.
“The ankle got turned in a peculiar way,” La Russa said. “He’s gotten beat up the last couple of days, no doubt.”
Andrew Vaughn started at first base in Abreu’s customary spot Monday and will likely be there for the series, La Russa said. The reigning American League MVP, Abreu would’ve played his 1,000th game Monday.
The Sox play three games in Minnesota and, after a day off Thursday, meet the Yankees in New York for games Friday through Sunday.
“The way it was examined and the results, three days of treatment, a day off — might even get him to the ballpark on Thursday, just to get him a little work — and 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.”
The Sox are without three of their most prolific power hitters in Abreu, Eloy Jimenez (torn pectoral muscle) and Luis Robert (torn hip flexor) but entered Monday with the best record (24-15) in baseball.
Madrigal hits first homer
Entering the game in a 1-for-14 slump, Nick Madrigal got within a triple of the cycle after three at-bats in the first four innings, rapping a single to right, lining his first major-league home run just above the 377-foot sign on the left-field wall and hitting an RBI double to right. Madrigal had four homers in 163 minor-league games.