Eloy Jimenez returns to White Sox’ lineup

Jimenez is coming off the injured list after undergoing an appendectomy May 6.

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Eloy Jimenez. (AP)

White Sox manager Pedro Grifol plans to play Eloy Jimenez more in right field than he did before the appendectomy.

AP Photos

DETROIT — Eloy Jimenez completed his rehab assignment with Double-A Birmingham on Friday and joined the White Sox here for Sunday’s game against the Tigers.

Manager Pedro Grifol indicated Saturday that Jimenez could return as soon as Sunday, when the team wraps up a four-game series, and the Sox reinstated him from the 10-day injured list Sunday morning. Outfielder Adam Haseley was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte.

Jimenez will be in right field and batting second against Tigers lefty Eduardo Rodriguez.

The Sox (22-32) can use a bump from the 2020 Silver Slugger Award winner after -getting held to four hits in a 7-3 loss to the Tigers (24-26). After losing for just the third time in their last nine games, they need a victory Sunday for a series split. Jimenez will be in the lineup against Tigers left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.

When Jimenez underwent an emergency appendectomy May 6 in Cincinnati, he indicated early on he would return sooner than the projected four to six weeks. He played in his third rehab game with Birmingham on Friday.

Grifol said he plans to play Jimenez more in right field than he did before the appendectomy. Jake Burger filled in at Jimenez’s designated-hitter spot and owns a team-high .906 OPS with 10 homers, and the Sox want to keep Burger’s bat in the lineup.

The left-handed-hitting Gavin Sheets and Clint Frazier are also in the right-field mix with Jimenez.

After surgery, Jimenez “had his mind right,” Grifol said. “He wanted to come back and be a part of this. We want him to be a part of this. He was pushing, we were pushing. He’s done a great job with his rehab, not only physically but mentally.”

Jimenez had an eight-game hitting streak going when he went on the IL. He is batting .258/.321/.423 with four home runs, four doubles, 15 RBI and 12 runs scored in 25 games.

Status quo for Hendriks

Grifol offered no new insight as to when closer Liam Hendriks will return. Hendriks, working his way back after a bout with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, threw well facing live hitters Friday.

“Threw the ball good yesterday, and we’re discussing as an organization to see when he’s going to be activated,” Grifol said. “He feels great, especially after yesterday.”

Sore subject

Ask shortstop Tim Anderson how his left knee feels, and a terse reply can be expected.

“Nobody cares, it’s good though,” Anderson said. “Nobody wants to hear about it, we’re good. Let’s not make it a topic.”

Anderson sprained his knee April 10 at Minnesota and was 23-for-99 with no extra-base hits since coming off the injured list on May 2. He reached base five times with four singles Friday, then was 0-for-4 on Saturday. He is looking for his first home run.

Rest for Robert Jr.

Luis Robert Jr. was given a day off after a night game, three days after missing a game in Cleveland with a sore quad.

“He had that little hiccup in Cleveland,” Grifol said. “He’s played a lot. When he plays, he runs more than anybody because he’s a center fielder. Every ball that’s hit to the corners, you’ve seen how much ground he’s covering. He was on pace to play 157, 158 games. That’s way too much.”

This and that

Elvis Andrus started his rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday and is expected to return later next week, Grifol said.

Mike Clevinger (wrist inflammation) threw a bullpen session and is slated to face live -hitters Monday. He is expected to come off the IL on Friday.

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