Outfielder Owens lands on 15-day DL

Outfielder Owens lands on 15-day DL

TUCSON, Ariz. -- You've heard of that old adage that states, "If it wasn't for bad luck, you'd have no luck at all."

The White Sox leadoff hitters have lived this particular phrase over the past two seasons.

After Scott Podsednik battled adductor problems throughout the 2007 campaign, limiting the talented leadoff man to 214 at-bats in 62 games, Podsednik's replacement for the 2008 season and beyond has encountered the same misfortune.

An MRI revealed on Tuesday that Jerry Owens has suffered a small tear of his right adductor muscle, an injury that originally came about during the first intrasquad game of the spring on Feb. 25.

Prior to the MRI results, White Sox general manager Ken Williams explained how he planned to err on the side of caution in regards to Owens' injury, giving up a couple of weeks to get his legs healthy for the long run.

"If it shows anything more than just scar tissue, I'm going to be as cautious as I can possibly be with this guy," said Williams of Owens, who will be placed on the disabled list retroactive to March 24. "His legs are his game. I would rather have him miss the first week than have this problem bothering him throughout the whole darn season.

"We have to be very cautious with leg injuries, especially if that is the major asset that we're protecting," Williams added.

A pattern has followed Owens since he tweaked the groin. He played well after taking a few days of rest, hitting .361 this spring, but then the problem seemed to creep up again. Before knowing the full diagnosis, manager Ozzie Guillen pointed out that he wouldn't be able to work during the season with any player who would need consistent rest.

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Alexei Ramirez is available to start in center field, as are Carlos Quentin and Brian Anderson, both of whom will make the team due to Owens' injury.

"To be honest with you, I don't want to deal with this during the season," Guillen said. "I want people available to play every day. If he can't play every day, we got three to four who can fill out his job. I don't want to push this guy to play when he's hurt, but we got to get a guy in there to make our lineup better."

Owens told MLB.com on Tuesday afternoon how he was going for the MRI just to make sure the treatment he received was on target and nothing was being missed, especially after the pain resurfaced last Sunday against the Royals while legging out a triple.

Tuesday's diagnosis came with a prescription for seven to 10 days of rest for Owens, and he should be back playing in two weeks. He won't be available for Opening Day, but plans to be ready for the bulk of the 2008 campaign.

"I want to be able to play a healthy, full season," Owens said. "But my legs are the most important part of my game, and I want to make sure I'm ready to go at 100 percent."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.