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Crede not worried about ankle injury

Crede not worried about ankle injury

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- White Sox third baseman Joe Crede must feel like he cannot catch a break.

Entering Spring Training, the veteran had to deal with a heated competition with Josh Fields for the starting spot. And while Crede was officially named the starter on Tuesday, he fouled a ball off his left ankle on Thursday in a loss against the Diamondbacks that has sidelined him indefinitely.

"There's a lot of pain right now," Crede said before Friday night's game with the Texas Rangers at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. "It's swollen, but I'm really not too worried about it. It's nothing out of the ordinary."

Crede sat out Friday's game, and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said he hopes Crede can at least get an at-bat in the club's final exhibition game against the New York Mets at the Civil Rights Game in Memphis.

Crede had a precautionary X-ray taken on Thursday in Tucson, and the results were negative. Guillen said if there were any questions about Crede's toughness, it was answered with the way Crede responded after the incident.

"I knew right away how much that had to hurt," Guillen said. "But he stayed in there and made it through everything."

Three days removed from making the decision, Guillen said he has no doubts Crede is the right call for the hot corner.

"Josh improved a lot, but Joe has proven himself," Guillen said. "It was a difficult decision, but we felt like there was nothing we really could do with Josh. That's just the way it worked out."

Crede is only batting .179 through 18 games this spring, but he said he was starting to feel comfortable again before this latest setback.

"We'll see it how it feels, but it's in a real tough spot," Crede said. "Right now, it's hampering my hitting and fielding. Give it a couple days, and we'll see how everything is."

Fields, who graduated from Oklahoma State, did not make the trip to Oklahoma City. But that doesn't mean Guillen has lost any confidence in Fields.

"He's improved a lot from when he first came in," Guillen said. "There's no question he'll be back up. As long as he keeps doing what he's been doing."

Guillen may be convinced, but Oklahoma City fans were very disappointed to not see their hometown hero in action.

"I can understand that," Crede said. "I know there's a passion for Josh here, and that's fine."

Fields hit .268 in 16 games for the White Sox this spring.

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

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