White Sox eye quick COVID return for Lucas Giolito

White Sox Coach Tony La Russa says he thinks right-handed Lucas Giolito may be able to return to the rotation sooner than expected, which would provide both short-term and long-term benefits for the team’s upcoming eight-game road trip.

“Coming on Saturday, it looks like he’ll be able to throw one of those games,” La Russa said, referring to a five-game series starting Monday against the Royals in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Sox have not named a starter for Game 1 of the series or any of the doubleheader games on Tuesday. right-handed Dylan Quit will start one of the games on Tuesday, leaving a scenario that could target Giolito for Monday or Tuesday, pending two negative COVID-19 tests.

The Sox should buy the right-handed contract Johnny Cueto of Triple-A Charlotte and launch it on Monday or Tuesday, pending Giolito’s status.

The Sox have already pitched right-handed Vince Velazquez and left-handed Dallas Keuchel to start the final two games of the series on Wednesday and Thursday.

If Giolito returned for the start of the series against the Royals, he would be on schedule to face the Yankees next weekend at Yankee Stadium.

Giolito threw seven one-run innings Tuesday against the Guardians and allowed a run or less in three of his five starts.

Extra wait no disappointment

left-handed reliever Aaron Bummer admitted that a change that requires pitchers to stay on the disabled list for at least 15 days instead of 10 has reduced the urge to speed up his recovery from a strained right knee.

“I kind of make the joke that I wish I had been injured five days earlier or something, so I would have been on the 10 days [IL]compared to 15,” said Bummer, who is eligible to return next Sunday.

“It’s definitely something where we can be safe. It’s not just to make sure that the leg, the knee, that everything is fine there, [but] it gives my arm a break so I can hopefully continue. It’s just a good global reset. It’s good for the rest of the season.

Bummer played a career-high 62 games last season and appeared in 12 this season before feeling pain which he says has eased since moving to IL.

Bummer is scheduled to kick off a bullpen session on Sunday.

Progress for Lynn

right-handed by Lance Lynn Recovery from right knee surgery has advanced to the point where La Russa believes he might be able to join the rotation by the end of May or early June. This window was originally targeted for Lynn to be on a rehab mission.

”I think after another [bullpen session] or two, he’s going to start hitting hitters,” La Russa said. “That would be an elevator. He is a great valiant. In the meantime, you play with what you have. We are going to do it.”

La Russa was more cautious about the slugger’s potential return Eloy Jimenezwho has shown remarkable mobility since undergoing surgery on April 26 to repair a tendon in his right hamstring.

“Everyone thinks his progress is really impressive,” La Russa said. “But there’s some buildup in the muscle that has to happen, and you just can’t speed that up.”

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