KANSAS CITY -- Just 10 days after sustaining a concussion, Paul Konerko was activated Friday and in the lineup as the designated hitter for the White Sox as they opened a three-game series with the Royals.
Konerko, who cited last Sunday as a breakthrough after several days of disorientation, passed all the necessary tests, including a written test. Once Konerko began baseball activities with no ill effects, he knew he was on his way toward a speedy recovery.
"They say that you'll know right away, because you'll feel sick or out of sorts once you start moving around," Konerko said. "I didn't have much of that, so [the doctors] felt it was OK and cleared me to go."
Konerko didn't waste any time showing his power stroke is still there.
In his second at-bat of Friday's 4-2 loss, Konerko launched a home run to left against Kansas City right-hander Luis Mendoza. Konerko finished 1-for-4.
"I put some good swings on some balls tonight," Konerko said. "I felt like it was a good night to build on. I felt pretty strong. Sometimes you can take nine or 10 days off and it feels like a couple of months. In some ways, it did. But in some ways, I felt liked I just hopped right back in."In addition to activating Konerko, the White Sox recalled left-hander Hector Santiago from Triple-A Charlotte. Infielder Orlando Hudson (foot contusion) and left-hander Leyson Septimo (left biceps inflammation) were placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Konerko absorbed the concussion on Aug. 7 when he was elbowed in the side of the head by Kansas City's Jarrod Dyson. Not being ready for the impact, Konerko said, was a key factor.
"I thought I had another half-second or second before the runner would be up on me," Konerko said. "I had no time to brace."Initially, Konerko said he felt all right, although the lights seemed a little brighter than usual. "I didn't think much of it," Konerko said. "But the next three days -- Wednesday, Thursday, Friday -- there were all kinds of symptoms that were way out of the ordinary. The lights were so bright, everything was loud. I had headaches for four days and that was actually the easiest part." By last Sunday, Konerko said he felt more like himself. "The first three days afterwards, it's depressing," Konerko said. "You feel so depressed and unmotivated to do anything. You have no energy. But Sunday was the first day I felt a little more spring in my step." Konerko said he'll be ready to play in the field whenever manager Robin Ventura is ready to write his name in as the first baseman. Adam Dunn started again at first base on Friday. "I just want to see how it goes," Ventura said. "You can make adjustments more if he's the designated hitter instead of the first baseman. We'll get him in there and re-acclimate him. He'll play first at some point."
Santiago back in bullpen, offers flexibility
KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Hector Santiago's callup on Friday gives White Sox manager Robin Ventura some additional flexibility with his pitching staff.
Santiago was 1-0 in three starts and worked 14 2/3 scoreless innings for Triple-A Charlotte after being optioned on July 30.
"He can do a lot of different things," Ventura said. "He's stretched out and can go multiple innings. You can pretty much put him in anywhere."
Santiago's highest pitch count was 95 during his Triple-A stint and he said his control steadily improved.
"I got a lot better as I went on," Santiago said. "In the beginning, I was trying to throw a lot more offspeed. But the last outing, I was starting guys off with the fastball and then working offspeed to get them out."
Septimo forced to DL with biceps inflammation
KANSAS CITY -- The White Sox are taking a wait-and-see approach with left-hander Leyson Septimo, who was placed on the disabled list Friday with left biceps inflammation.
"I don't know how long that one is going to go," manager Robin Ventura said.
Septimo was 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 12 games when he informed the White Sox of the discomfort. He had allowed only three hits in nine innings, but issued six walks over that span.
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.