Anderson progressing, but no timeline for injury return


The White Sox do not yet have a timeline for Tim Anderson's return, but the team's starting shortstop is progressing in his rehab from surgery to repair a sagittal band tear of his left middle finger.

Anderson continues to conduct daily batting practice and take grounders in the field, including minutes after speaking to reporters ahead of Tuesday's pivotal series-opener against the Cleveland Guardians.

"I definitely want to be out there, but we're talking about my career, so I definitely have to be smart," Anderson said when asked if it is difficult not to rush himself with the fate of the White Sox' season on the line. "You know, it's a hand injury, so you definitely want to be smart about that for sure."

Last week, general manager Rick Hahn told reporters that, depending on Anderson's ramp-up, a return during the team's upcoming homestand (Sept. 20 - 25) is possible.

On Tuesday, acting manager Miguel Cairo reiterated that the team doesn't yet know exactly when Anderson will be activated or commence a rehab assignment. With just 15 games left in the regular season, Anderson's preference appears to be to jump straight back into the fold when he is ready.

"I definitely don't want to leave. Time is winding down," Anderson said of the prospect of a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. "So we'll see how it feels and how comfortable I am."

Added Cairo: "He don’t necessarily have to go (on a rehab assignment). We’d love to for him to go, but he (will) make that decision."

Anderson last played Aug. 6. Since, he has missed 40 games and counting. Tuesday marked six weeks since his surgery, which the White Sox initially ascribed an "approximate" recovery timeline of six weeks.

At the time, such an injury appeared damning for a team scrapping to stay above .500 and in the AL Central race. But the team is 22-18 in those 40 games and enters Tuesday four games back of the Guardians with three head-to-head matchups remaining.

Aiding in that effort has been Elvis Andrus, who the team signed on Aug. 19 to stopgap in Anderson's place after the veteran shortstop was released by the Oakland Athletics. Andrus has started 28 games for the White Sox, slashing .314/.357/.517 with 6 home runs and 21 RBI.

Cairo said Andrus will begin taking groundballs at second base in anticipation of Anderson's return.

"I already kind of mentioned something (to Andrus), and he’s willing to go anywhere," Cairo said.

To state the obvious: Anderson's return would be a major boon for a White Sox team chasing a playoff berth. The team's regular leadoff hitter is slashing .301/.339./.395 with 6 home runs and 25 RBI in 79 games this season.

Could that return come as soon as this week?

"I hope so," Anderson said. "If everything continues to keep going and keep progressing the way it is, I'm in a good spot for sure."

Stay tuned.

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