Morneau has first rehab game under his belt

Morneau has first rehab game under his belt

CHICAGO -- Veteran Justin Morneau began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte on Monday with two hitless at-bats.

Serving as the team's designated hitter, Morneau grounded out to first in the first inning and hit into a double play in the third, but the results weren't nearly as important as the process as he works his way back from offseason surgery to repair the primary flexor in his left elbow.

"It was a lot more adrenaline than I thought there was going to be, which was nice, but [I was] also fighting it," said Morneau on Tuesday. "It was exciting, which is good.

"The timing is the most important thing. You know, [seeing] pitches. Obviously, it's nice to get hits, but to feel good and feel like you're on time and feel like you're able to catch up to the fastest pitch is really what you want to feel right now."

Morneau said the elbow bounced back fine after Monday. He is targeted for three at-bats in the second game of the assignment, and he hopes to run the bases and test it a little more. But with a targeted return following the All-Star break, he isn't sure when he'll play first base for Charlotte.

"We're going to see how everything goes, but I think the hitting and the timing is the most important thing right now," Morneau said. "We'll try and get as many at-bats as many days in a row. The more first [base] I play, the more days off I might need in between now. Right now it's seeing how many at-bats I can get and see how quick I can get that timing down."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.