Avisail close to return from knee inflammation

Avisail close to return from knee inflammation

HOUSTON -- The White Sox remain hopeful Avisail Garcia could rejoin the lineup on Saturday, after the outfielder took batting practice and fielded balls before Friday night's game against the Astros.

Manager Robin Ventura even said Garcia could be available off the bench Friday, depending on how he responded to the pregame workout.

"He's not starting today, but there is a chance he could get in there, if the situation arises that looks like a good spot for him," Ventura said. "I don't know if I necessarily would put him in the outfield until we see him run around and really see the ball off the bat. But he looks good."

Garcia has been hobbled for nearly two weeks with right knee inflammation and has not played since being pulled from Monday's game in Toronto after his first at-bat.

Garcia said he received an MRI on the knee and the results showed "nothing bad, just inflammation, and that's all."

Following the flare-up Monday, the outfielder did no physical activity for two days, which he said helped.

"Yes, [it feels] a lot [better]," Garcia said. "With the rest and treatment the trainers gave to me, I feel really good. Couldn't put my knee up yesterday, but now I'm stretching it out. … It feels pretty good."

Though he's still got one of the league's more impressive slash lines at .327/.365/.456, the injury began frustrating Garcia when he was playing through it. He was in a 3-for-17 slump over his last six games.

Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.