GLENDALE, Ariz. -- On a day that he missed his sixth consecutive Cactus League game because of back spasms, White Sox designated hitter Jim Thome took part in a simulated game -- getting dozens of hacks in the cage -- and pronounced himself ready to return to game action Wednesday.
''Everything's good,'' Thome said today. ''I'm ready to go and excited to play.''
Hitting coach Greg Walker spent the morning with Thome and said the veteran passed all of his tests with flying colors.
''Jimmy looked good,'' Walker said. ''He was having a really good camp before his back started bothering him. I don't even know what his stats are, but I know he felt dangerous. He hit some home runs, his swing was short, there were a lot of good things going on with Jimmy. Any time somebody has back problems, we don't take them lightly. But now that two or three days are over, it looks like it was just a little bump in the road.
''He's still got a lot in the tank. Jimmy Thome at 38 is still a bad boy. I'm expecting another big Jim Thome year, I really am.''