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07/03/09 8:30 PM ET

Quentin to begin rehab stint Saturday

Chicago outfielder unlikely to return until after All-Star break

KANSAS CITY -- While the White Sox were enjoying the after-effects of Thursday night's pitching gem turned in by Mark Buehrle, Carlos Quentin was packing up his stuff and getting ready for a trip to Triple-A Charlotte.

Quentin's injury rehabilitation assignment begins Saturday, when the Knights play host to Durham. The White Sox left fielder continues to work his way back from a painful battle with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen laid out Quentin's upcoming playing schedule with the Knights prior to his team's game with the Royals on Friday night.

"I believe the first game is three innings. Then the next game is five, then the next day he's DHing and then a day off," said Guillen, referring to Quentin's rehab start as a "Spring Training type" of plan. "That's what I believe. That's what we planned.

"We'll see what happens. I'm very optimistic about his improvement. But in the meanwhile, I have to see it first, then I'll get excited."

Guillen pointed to running as the biggest test for Quentin, specifically stopping and then starting. Guillen also understands that any veteran who gets sent to the Minors for this sort of work will be anxious to get back.

But don't expect Quentin to return before the All-Star break, especially with the White Sox closing the first half during three games played on the Metrodome turf in Minneapolis. Having Quentin in the lineup on Friday, July 17, at home against Baltimore to start the season's second half is more of a possibility.

In the meanwhile, the White Sox might need to move Quentin to another team within the system during the All-Star break. Charlotte and Double-A Birmingham both are inactive on July 13-14, but Class A Kannapolis of the South Atlantic League plays at Savannah from July 13-16. Birmingham also travels to Mobile from July 15-19, if the White Sox deem Quentin needs a few more games after a couple of days of rest.

"He can't have four days off and then come to play here," Guillen said. "That's something [general manager] Kenny [Williams] has to figure out what we are going to do."

The last game played by Quentin was in Anaheim on May 25, when he heard a pop while rounding first base during a first-inning double. Quentin believes that pop was the tending tearing in his left foot, a step forward for the long-term healing process, but a return to the starting line in the present.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.