Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

'Throwing? It's not good' - Thornton injury might be serious

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Chicago+White+Sox+Photo+Day+JfOy5NfPokpl.jpgKANSAS CITY, Mo. - Chris Sale better be really good.
Because the 21-year-old left-hander, who was pitching for Florida Gulf Coast University just three months ago, might be the reason the White Sox' pennant hopes sink or swim over the next week.
Matt Thornton told the Sun-Times on Sunday morning that the soreness in his pitching forearm that was managed earlier in the season has now turned into something worse. How much worse? Enough for the laid-back left-handed veteran to now have some concerns.
"I'm not concerned with my overall health,'' Thornton said. "I'm concerned about missing some time is what I'm concerned about. Hopefully it's something I bounce back from quickly with this little time off. I've blown my elbow out before and done that kind of stuff, and it doesn't feel like that. It's in the muscles, it's in the belly of muscles, so in that way I'm not scared of it. But at the same time it's something you've got to be careful with for sure.''
The unknown is what really seems to be bothering Thornton.
Considering what he means to the fortunes of the Sox, especially in the backend of their bullpen, that unknown should be keeping certain members of the Sox organization up a little at night right about now.
The plan is to get Thornton back to the South Side tonight, see how it feels tomorrow and then map out a more specific plan.
"Right now sore is all we know, yeah,'' Thornton said. "Don't know what's going on or what's next. It's one of those things where you just have to wait and see. Hopefully it's something minor.''
The red flag is that when he had the forearm soreness earlier in the season, Thornton was able to pitch through it. Now, some everyday activities are casing pain, while throwing is out of the question.
With a 2.66 ERA, five saves and a team-high 50 appearances this year, Thornton's value is without equal to that Sox bullpen. Add the fact that he also has the most strikeouts by a lefty reliever in all of baseball since 2008, as well as the fact that left-handed hitters were hitting .169 against him this season, as well as fanning 37 times, well, the first-place Twins will find life a little easier if the injury is deemed serious.
Best-case scenario?
Thornton was hoping to be back by mid-week.
"Throwing? It's not good,'' Thornton described. "Kind of something I've been battling - not battling - but normal soreness that I can usually fight through, pitch through, get through and warm-up through. Usually I could warm-up and I would be fine. Now warming up has turned into some pretty good soreness. I've got to take a step back, and the hope is that at the start of this next home series [beginning on Tuesday], I'll be ready to go by that series or the weekend. I don't know. Kind of got to wait and see.''
With Thornton on the shelf for the time being, that means Sale is all they have from the left side out of the bullpen.
The Sox better hope that's enough for now.

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Whatever it takes get Linebrink off the the roster.Bring up Threet and give Linebrink a 1-way ticket out.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on August 22, 2010 12:19 PM.

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