Sports

Jimenez ‘200 percent’ healthy, near ChiSox return

Chicago White Sox slugger Eloy Jimenez says he’s completely healthy after rupturing his left pectoral in March and will begin a rehab assignment Friday at Class A Winston-Salem.

“I feel better than in spring training,” Jimenez said Thursday. “I feel like 110 percent — let’s say 200 percent. I feel pretty normal. I can go do my swing and finish, and it’s not going to hurt.”

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Jimenez was injured while attempting to catch a home run ball over the outfield wall in a spring game and had surgery shortly after. His return is on the early side of his original prognosis.

“They said six months, I’m going to be back,” Jimenez said. “I’m back … before what they said.”

Jimenez, who has a career .848 OPS over two seasons with the White Sox, is considered a minus defender but still wants to play the outfield when he returns. The White Sox have used several left fielders in his place, including rookie Andrew Vaughn.

Jimenez also likely will see time as a designated hitter when not in the outfield. He’ll be returning to a White Sox team (51-35) that enters Thursday with an eight-game lead atop the AL Central, the biggest lead of any first-place team in baseball.

Chicago also is without outfielder Luis Robert (hip), catcher Yasmani Grandal (knee), infielder Nick Madrigal (hamstring) and relievers Aaron Bummer (hamstring) and Evan Marshall (forearm).

The White Sox haven’t placed a timetable on Jimenez’s return to the majors, but he thinks he could be ready by the end of July.

“I feel really good because the team is still winning with a couple good players out,” Jimenez said. “I feel happy for them and I feel happy I’ll be back to help the team.

“It’s been a little bit tough because what happened to me was a week before the season started. At the same time it was like my guys are in my corner.”

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