CHICAGO -- Paul Konerko returned to the White Sox starting lineup Monday against the Tigers following a 4-for-10 showing over three Minor League rehab games with Double-A Birmingham.
The White Sox captain had been on the disabled list since July 3 with a lower back strain that he described as "a slight degeneration of one of the disks and kind of a little bit of a tear that again is pretty common they say in a lot of guys and sometimes you can just aggravate it the wrong way."
Konerko admitted that there's always concern the back issue could arise again, but he seemed ready to get back to work with the White Sox.
"I don't know if it's something that I'm never not going to feel," Konerko said. "But there's probably five other things that I'm never not going to feel that I've had for two or three years that, you know, again it's fine if you can come in and know that if you get loose and warmed up that you can power through it and play the game.
"Everybody out here has something like that, whether it's their knee or their shoulder. A lot of these guys throwing the ball, I mean their arms, their elbows, their shoulders kill them. But they can get loose and get the job done. If it's something like that, it doesn't concern me."
Although he was asked about the back problem impacting his decision for playing past this year, Konerko said that he was simply focused on getting ready for Monday. Konerko could be playing with a different group of teammates by the non-waiver Trade Deadline of July 31, but he knows that the White Sox won't make deals just to make them.
"We don't want to concern ourselves with that kind of stuff," Konerko said. "A lot of guys that have been talked about on our team are under contract, so I'm sure there's no rush. If you don't like what you're getting and you know there's no rush, then you can just wait and maybe down the road you get something else.
"I'm sure it's a tough, tough job to navigate through all that kind of stuff. Everybody thinks it has to happen, this stuff has to happen. But when you look at it from really what it is, it really doesn't. It could still, but it might not be the urgency that some people think."
Peavy focused on next start, aware of speculation
CHICAGO -- With Cubs right-hander Matt Garza traded to the Rangers on Monday evening, White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy appears to be the next starter on the clock for contending teams who need rotation help.
Peavy made his first start since June 4 on Saturday, allowing two earned runs over six innings in a victory over the Braves. His stuff showed no ill effects from the prolonged absence because of a fractured rib on his left side, but even without issuing a walk, his command was not exceptionally sharp.
Peavy threw a bullpen session on Monday to help find a better feel and pace, things he'll focus on leading into Thursday afternoon's start against the Tigers. As for trade speculation, Peavy hears reports and sees his name, but he is not concerned.
His two-year, $29 million deal, agreed upon with the White Sox around Halloween, did not include no-trade protection as Peavy had with the Padres. The truth of the matter is Peavy didn't want it with the White Sox.
"A trade didn't matter to me because if we were going to sit here talking about [a trade possibility], it meant we played the way we have played," said Peavy prior to Monday's series opener with the Tigers and after news of the Garza trade broke. "I didn't foresee that happening, but at the same time, it's about winning.
"As tough as it would be to be traded away from a city I love, from teammates, from friends in here and I made around the city, it would be awfully tough, but it would be for going to a chance to play in the postseason. So if I tell you about winning, then I have to be OK with that happening. I certainly will be, but it will be a sad, sad day."
Talk from Peavy makes it sound as if he somewhat expects to get traded. Maybe it's the large number of scouts watching him Saturday, who figure to be back on Thursday.
The Garza deal sort of set the bar, with three solid prospects coming back to the Cubs, and Peavy still is under contract for 2014, whereas Garza isn't. Moving the veteran could help the White Sox in the future, which was Peavy's plan when he stayed on the South Side and passed up free agency.
"Listen, I'll talk about it when you guys ask me questions about it," said Peavy of the possibility of being traded. "I'm not going to be caught off guard. I understand there's a possibility of me being moved.
"So you prepare yourself in life that could happen. But at the same time, I have to get ready to pitch against the Detroit Tigers. I have to be all in here and find a way to back Chris Sale tonight and be a good teammate and find a way for us to win today. It's just real black and white for me. That's the way I go about it."
Beckham resting, hoping to avoid return to DL
CHICAGO -- Monday marked a second straight day of inactivity for Gordon Beckham, after the second baseman strained a ligament in his left wrist while swinging a weighted bat while warming up for batting practice Friday.
This injury joins the removal of a fractured hamate bone in his left hand that cost Beckham from April 12 to June 3 and a left quad contusion he sustained in Philadelphia before the end of the season's first half when right fielder Casper Wells slid into him while making a catch.
"Pretty frustrating. I've been unfortunate in a couple of different ways," Beckham said. "It is what it is. It's frustrating for me because if it was just this, I think I could be OK with it, but when you hurt yourself for two months and are finally starting to get comfortable back playing and for something to go wrong with your hand again, it kind of stings."
Another trip to the disabled list is possible for Beckham. But he first has to see how the wrist responds to the rest.
"I don't want to go on the DL, but we just have to let it play out," Beckham said. "The doctor said it could be a week, it could be more, it could be less. We don't really know."
"You go day to day and see how he is tomorrow and the next day," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura, who admitted Beckham is pretty sore. "Again, you can't ever tell. You can't say he's not going to when there's a chance he could. I hope he doesn't."
Phegley trying to prove he's a big league catcher
CHICAGO -- The regular playing time given to Josh Phegley since his arrival in early July should be viewed as the White Sox gauging his ability to handle the everyday catching duties.
Phegley, who entered Monday's series opener against Detroit hitting .278 with three homers and 10 RBIs, doesn't view these next few months as a pure audition.
"It's more of they gave me the opportunity to play for the White Sox this year," Phegley said. "Just proving them right every day and I guess giving them confidence in me that they made the right decision to bring me up."
Phegley caught veteran Jake Peavy for the first time in a big league game Saturday and received rave reviews from the hurler.
"He wants to win. He's all in on the game plan," said Peavy. "He's all in on doing what he can do to help the ballclub win. I think the sky is the limit for what he can be here."
Third to first
• Martellus Bennett, the Chicago Bears' new starting tight end, threw out one of Monday's ceremonial first pitches.
• Andy Wilkins was named International League Batter of the Week for the period of July 18-21. The first baseman for Triple-A Charlotte went 7-for-16, with three homers, five RBIs and six runs scored over a four-game stretch. Spencer Arroyo was named Southern League Pitcher of the Week for the period ending July 21. Arroyo earned the win on July 18 with seven scoreless innings.
• The White Sox rank fourth in the Major Leagues with a .268 average with runners in scoring position and two outs. Alexei Ramirez (.353) and Dayan Viciedo (.346) lead the White Sox in this category.
• The White Sox committed just three errors over their previous 10 games and six in the last 20 entering play Monday.