Eloy ‘smart’ about return; Abreu aids Zavala

CHICAGO — Eloy Jiménez still would like to primarily play left field for the American League Central-leading White Sox, even after missing the previous four games due to right groin tightness.

That injury, sustained while running to first base in Kansas City, followed a 99-game absence due to surgery that repaired a left pectoral tendon rupture suffered at the end of Spring Training and an ensuing three-game return. But Jiménez is just happy to be back contributing, hitting fourth at designated hitter in Tuesday’s series opener against the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“I feel like I can play out there [in left field], but it’s not my decision now. But I feel good to play outfield,” Jiménez said after batting practice. “I’m very happy that I’m here, first. So whatever they decide to do, I’m happy. But I’m still not happy being DH. In this situation, I understand.”

There will be no DH this weekend when the White Sox play three Interleague games against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, marking the site of Jiménez’s most famous home run coming in the ninth inning off Pedro Strop in a 3-1 victory on June 18, 2019. So Jiménez should get a couple of games in left field, believing the groin injury should not linger.

“It’s over, but I just need to make sure that everything is right. I don’t want to go back again to the [injured] list,” Jiménez said. “I…

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