Tim Anderson is a step closer to a return to the White Sox


CHICAGO – As the White Sox continue to make their run at an American League Central division title this week, their All-Star shortstop took another step closer to a return to the lineup.

General manager Rick Hahn and acting manager Miguel Cairo both said that Tim Anderson has been cleared to ramp up his baseball activities in hopes of returning to the lineup ahead of the end of the season.

The two-time All-Star has been out since having surgery on his left hand to repair a sagittal band tear on his middle finger on August 11th. Hahn told reporters that he could return to the lineup as soon as next week, which would be on target with his original six-week timeline for return.

“He saw a specialist today and they told him that he can get ground balls, play catch, dry swing first. I don’t know how long it’s going to take, but that’s really good news for us,” said Cairo of Anderson on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the start of the White Sox two-game series with the Rockies at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Anderson is hitting .301/.339/.395 with 13 doubles, six homers, and 25 RBI in 79 games as he’s also dealt with a groin injury in late May and June. He was named an American League starter for the All-Star Game in Los Angeles in July.

Whether he returns to play for the acting manager or Tony La Russa is still to be determined. Cairo and Hahn both confirmed that he’s returned to Chicago after having a pacemaker installed in Arizona and is at Guaranteed Rate Field for tonight’s game.

He’ll watch from a suite as Cairo manages, and if he continues to do so when Anderson is ready to go, he’ll have an interesting dilemma.

Elvis Andrus has enjoyed a strong stretch with the club since arriving in late August, hitting .293/.337/.511 with five doubles, five homers, and 20 RBI. He’s also failed to make an error at shortstop in 54 attempts so far in 22 games.

So what will Cairo do once Anderson returns? Would Anderson or Andrus move to second base?

“Right now, Elvis is the shortstop, he’s playing, and he’s our shortstop right now. When Tim comes back, he will be put at shortstop. That’s his position,” said Cairo when asked about what would happen at the position when Anderson returns.

Of course, the All-Star still has to get fully healthy for that question to be debated, but a step was taken to do that on Tuesday.

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