CHICAGO -- After being placed on the disabled list Tuesday with what was described as a lumbar strain, White Sox third baseman Brent Morel received a bit of good news.
Morel definitely won't need surgery for what was diagnosed as a bulging disc after a MRI on May 10. A physical exam on Tuesday showed the issue to be centered more on the facet joint around the disc, according to Morel, which he explained as sort of like the knuckle. So after it calms down, the problem is something the White Sox trainers and Morel can stay on top of easier than imagined.
"My pain is more extension, so if I was to bend back or when I get in a ready position [on defense], and it's more ... called something like the facet or the knuckle around the disc, which is really good news," Morel said. "They were happy to find that out.
"It's never operated on. It can be controlled very easily in the training room, and by calming it down. I met with [White Sox general manager] Kenny [Williams] and the trainers and the doctors, and they were really encouraged."
Morel will begin new back exercises on Thursday, and he's going to take four or five days strictly with those. Then he'll start hitting and throwing, eventually go for a couple of Minor League rehab games and hopefully be back soon.
Getting manager Robin Ventura's endorsement as the incumbent starter, despite the injury, was more good news for Morel. He won't use the injury as an excuse for his miserable start, and Ventura expects Morel to bounce back when healthy.
"A lot of it will get blown out of proportion," Ventura said. "Every third baseman has back problems. I had them, and you learn to deal with them and take care of it.
"If it was something that was structural, that would be different. But what it is now it sounds like what guys go through that normally play third base. I'm looking for him to get healthy and get back out there."