Levine: Avisail Garcia Plans To Return ‘No Later Than Monday’

By Bruce Levine

CHICAGO (CBS) — White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia, an All-Star team candidate, missed his second straight game Saturday with a sore knee.

Garcia is being treated with stimulation and icing in the acute area and believes he will be ready to return to the lineup no later than Monday.

“It is much better today,” Garcia said Saturday. “I think it is healing. It doesn’t hurt — just sore. Maybe tomorrow, but no later than Monday.”

Garcia is on track to become an All-Star for the first time come Sunday, when the American and National League rosters are announced.

“I am nervous, and thankful, they are talking about me,” Garcia said. “Let’s see what happens.”

The 26-year-old Garcia is hitting .318 with 12 home runs and 51 RBIs. Before he was injured due to a slide Thursday evening, he had been in a 0-of-20 slump. Garcia’s batting average had been .342.

“I believe the mental part was the thing for me,” he said. “I think that is what the game is about. I have learned how to listen and use that toward my game.”

Garcia credited manager Rick Renteria for much of his newfound success.

“He has meant a lot to me,” Garcia said. “He is a great person — I certainly appreciate everything he does for us and me personally. I am so thankful he is with us.”

Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez is set to be sent out on a rehab assignment next week. The plan will have him pitch in the minor leagues Thursday and make a second start on July 12.

Gonzalez went on the 10-day disabled list on June 18 with right shoulder A/C joint inflammation. He’s 4-8 with a 5.49 ERA this season.

Shortstop Tim Anderson made his MLB-leading 20th error Saturday. He was back in the lineup after two physical and mental health days off. The talented Anderson, 24, is hitting .246 with seven homers and 24 RBIs.

Anderson was fitted with correctional glasses for the first time during this time. He had been going through a tough period of awkward, off-balance errors. He was also dealing with multiple strikeouts at the plate in recent weeks.

“We were just trying to get him and Matty (Davidson) away from it so they can totally regroup,” Renteria said. “We wanted them to feel like they would rather be in there than not playing at all.”

Anderson admitted some time off was beneficial for him.

“I have tried to use the time wisely,” he said. “You are playing one of the toughest sports in the world. You have to learn how to adjust. I tried to change some things up and keep working, trust the process.”

Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu hit his second home run at Guaranteed Rate Field in as many days Saturday. Abreu hit his first 13 home runs on the road this season. The last time he hit consecutive long balls at home was August 20-23, 2016 during three consecutive games.

Abreu is a candidate to make his second All-Star team as a substitute. His first selection was in 2014. Either way, he will be in Miami. The game is at Marlins Park, and Abreu makes his offseason home in the greater Miami area.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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