Jon Jay will soon head to Arizona to continue rehab, but still not totally certain when he'll return to White Sox

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The White Sox put Jon Jay on the 60-day injured list Sunday, but don't let that change your thinking about the veteran outfielder, as he's already been out of commission for more than half of those days.

He's eligible to come off the IL on May 27, the White Sox said, but whether that's the day he actually returns to the team or not remains to be seen. According to general manager Rick Hahn, Jay, who is working back from a groin/hip injury that popped up during spring training and has proven significant enough to keep him sidelined for at least the first two months of the 2019 season, is heading to Arizona on Monday to continue his rehab. Per Hahn, Jay is expected to increase his workload of baseball activities over the next couple weeks and will go on a rehab assignment sometime after that.

"Jon Jay is going to join our extended spring training program in Glendale on Monday," Hahn said. "We'll start ramping up his in-game activity there over the course of the next 10 to 14 days. Hopefully at some point there after he'll be able to join one of our affiliates and start a true rehab assignment."

While that puts a little bit more of a timetable on things, the dates of that rehab assignment and Jay's return to the big league team have not been established, likely only able to be figured out once he's playing in games again.

It's tough to imagine that anyone thought the White Sox would go this far into the season without Jay appearing in a game. Injuries happen, obviously, and Jay is attempting to work his way back. But it's a sting to the White Sox that they haven't been able to add Jay to their lineup at all during the season's first 30-plus games and they won't until at least the end of this month.

Along with fellow offseason acquisition and good friend Yonder Alonso, Jay was pegged by plenty of fans as part of the team's unsuccessful quest to sign Manny Machado during the offseason, but Jay brought plenty of value all by himself, such as his ability to bring on-base skills and veteran wisdom to the White Sox. He won a World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals and was in the playoffs as recently as two years ago with the Cubs. That experience figured to prove helpful to the team's young players, and Jay's versatility and strong defensive skills in the outfield figured to make the outfield a more stable place. And while Eloy Jimenez is entrenched in left field, when healthy, and Leury Garcia has certainly been capable — the owner of a .280 batting average and a .331 on-base percentage in his 28 games — other outfielders such as Daniel Palka, Adam Engel, Ryan Cordell and Nicky Delmonico have struggled to provide much offensive consistency.

Put simpler: It would've been nice to have Jay in the lineup. Surely he and the White Sox agree.

For now, the White Sox will continue the waiting game that's been going on since prior to Opening Day. Jay continues to work his way back and now will be doing so in Arizona.

When will he back? There's still no answer to that question.

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