White Sox’ Eloy Jimenez hurt in first rehab game ‘not what you would hope’

Luis Robert could return from COVID list as soon as Tuesday; Yoan Moncada still dealing with sore quad

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Eloy Jimenez left his rehab assignment game Friday night with a sore hamstring.

Eloy Jimenez hits a three-run home run against the Kansas City Royals last season. (Getty Images)

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White Sox manager Tony La Russa said Eloy Jimenez “felt a tug” in the area of his surgically repaired torn tendon on a swing Saturday night, causing him to exit his first rehabilitation game for Triple-A Charlotte after two at-bats.

“I talked to [Sox trainer James] Kruk. It’s not perfect, it’s not what you would hope,” La Russa said Sunday, “but it still doesn’t change the expectation that he’s healing and on his way. Just have to be careful with him.”

The hope that Jimenez would need about 10 days before returning to the team has been dashed.

“It might [mean more time],” La Russa said. “He may not play for a day or two, I think.”

The official word from the Sox is that Jimenez left the game with right hamstring soreness. A day or two seemed highly optimistic, especially after La Russa allowed that Jimenez is “just not completely 100 percent yet.”

“The way [Kruk] described it, it felt like it’s just part of the healing,” La Russa said.

La Russa said he knew Jimenez, who had worked with Sox for about three weeks before going to Charlotte, would be eager to return as soon as possible, especially with the team struggling to score runs.

“I had to stand on a chair to get my arm around his neck and squeeze to tell him, ‘Look, there’s too much at stake here for you to rush yourself,’ ’’ La Russa said. “ ‘You don’t want to get hurt again, do you?’ With that big smile, ‘No.’ I said, ‘Quit smiling, because it’s serious.’ And he couldn’t quit smiling, you know him. So I it’s a good sign. He knows what he feels, and we have to rely on it.”

No definite return for Moncada

Yoan Moncada was out of the lineup with a sore quad and might not be ready to start Tuesday, the first day of a road trip in Toronto and Tampa.

“Our expectation is — and we’re hopeful — that he would be able to play Tuesday,” La Russa said. “But he doesn’t feel right yet, so it may not be Tuesday.”

Moncada pinch hit and grounded out in the ninth inning against the Cubs, appearing in only his 15th game due to an oblique injury and the quad issue. He is batting .133/.175/.250 with two homers.

Leury Garcia didn’t start for the second consecutive game with soreness in his hip area but pinch hit in the 11th.

Robert possible for Toronto

In better injury-related news, center fielder Luis Robert made significant process and seemed a decent bet to come off the COVID-19 related list.

“He’s made that much of an improvement,” La Russa said.

Robert, who went on the IL on Monday, is still feeling some fatigue when he works.

“Just got to eyeball him and see where he is,” La Russa said.

Lynn starts for Charlotte

Lance Lynn started a rehab assignment Sunday night with Charlotte, starting for the Knights against the Durham Bulls.

Lynn said he would need at least three starts before rejoining the team, which could come as soon as June 12 or 13.

He pitched three scoreless innings with no walks and three strikeouts. Lynn threw 39 pitches.

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