KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's getting to the point where manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper must be wondering if John Danks will pitch again this season.
"I hope so,'' Ventura said before the White Sox opened the unofficial second half against the Royals on Friday night, "but we've had to think of anything. Right now the way I look at it, I hope he's coming back but you have to prepare for the worst. And keep going. I'm hoping I'm wrong.''
Danks, the team's Opening Day starter who signed a five-year, $65 million extension last off-season, is with the team on the road trip, continuing with the treatment he took through the All-Star break for his left shoulder. He said he's "losing his mind" from the boredom of not pitching, and that he doesn't fault Cooper for saying he's "not on the radar" right now.
On the positive side Danks said his shoulder "is progressing. Everything looks like it's healing the way we want it to, just not as quick as we wanted it to or thought it would. We have to deal with it.''
Cooper said he didn't mean to be harsh. He was only matter-of-factly saying his plate is full with the 12 pitchers on the roster to take care of.
"That's the first I've heard that to be honest with you,'' Danks said. "But I can't fault him for that. I'm not even going on a rehab assignment just yet. So I don't, it doesn't bother me that he said that. That's where we are at right now. We don't know. We all expected to be back well before today, so it is what it is. We are doing everything we know to do to get back. It's just we are at the mercy of my shoulder like we've been saying this whole time.''
Danks (3-4, 5.70) hasn't pitched since facing the Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 19. Jose Quintana's emergence in his absence has helped keep the team in first place in the AL Central.
"At least there's something to look forward to when you come to the ballpark every day,'' he said. "For me personally, it has been a long boring, I'm losing my mind. I really am. I want to be out there. I think you guys know that. I'm not enjoying this, but it is what it is. It's part of the game and I have to deal with it.
"Everything is good. It is progressing. Everything looks like it's healing the way we want it to, just not as quick as we wanted it to or thought it would. We have to deal with it.''
Asked if would do anything different in hindsight -- perhaps backing off when he was pitching through soreness -- Danks said, "Everybody does that.''
"I've done that every year I've been here. There are times where you would like to admit that you don't feel great going into a game. But everybody has dealt with that. There wasn't anything I was doing out of the ordinary that led up to the injury. It was, it just happened. I don't even know a specific pitch. It was just the next day. It just felt bad.
"But no, there's no regrets. Anything before I got hurt or even while I've been hurt, this is so new to me, I'm just kind of trusting everyone that has been through it. I personally don't have any regrets at all. I'd do it again tomorrow. I'd go out there and push myself again and I have full belief like the other umpteen times I've done it, it will be fine. For whatever reason, this time it wasn't ok. Nobody is going to feel great going into every start. That's just how it works.''