Philip Humber is ready to rejoin the White Sox rotation.
The right-hander pitched six strong innings for AA Birmingham on Thursday night in his third rehab start since going on the disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain. On four days rest, he could pitch for the Sox against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Tuesday night.
Humber allowed two hits and retired the final 16 batters he faced in his six-inning outing against Tennessee. He struck out five and walked none.
The AL Central-leading Sox will open a tough 10-game road trip with a three-game series in Kansas City on Friday with rookie lethander Jose Quintana on the mound. Jake Peavy is scheduled to pitch Saturday, followed by Chris Sale on Sunday. Gavin Floyd will start the opener of a four-game series in Boston on Monday night.
Quintana (4-1, 2.04) has been outstanding filling in for Opening Day starter John Danks, who hasn't pitched since late May because of a sore shoulder and isn't expected back any time soon.
"John is not feeling so hot, his shoulder is not feeling so good, we've made minimal progress with it and from my standpoint -- I don't mean this fully, I love John -- he's not on my radar right now," pitching coach Don Cooper told WSCR-AM 670 on Thursday. "I mean, we've got 12 other guys that force your attention and until John gets close and John gets going, he's kind of out of my mind and I don't mean that in a bad way."
Two weeks ago, Cooper said he was hoping for Danks to return by the third week of July. But that's not going to happen.
"We would love to have John back, but that doesn't look like that's happening in the next two-to-three weeks at least, so we got our hands full and we got a job ahead of us with what we've got going on," Cooper said.
When Humber returns, rookie Dylan Axelrod will likely return to the bullpen. The Sox have an open roster spot after sending rookie right-hander Deunte Heath back to AAA Charlotte.