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Could Avisail Garcia return this weekend?

8/15/2014

CHICAGO -- Once expected to be lost for the season, outfielder Avisail Garcia could be back in a Chicago White Sox uniform and on the field before the weekend ends.

“It could be; you never know,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “For him, you’ve got to make sure he feels comfortable enough that he has the right amount of at-bats that when he comes up here, you don’t want him feeling like he’s still a step behind of feeling totally ready to go.”

Garcia suffered a shoulder injury while diving for a ball in April and had subsequent surgery to repair the labrum in his left shoulder. Originally, the White Sox projected Garcia’s return for spring training 2015 with the possibility he could play winter ball before that.

When Garcia started progressing quickly, a September timetable was set. And after more than two weeks of playing rehab games at Triple-A Charlotte, the power-hitting threat is showing he is healthy again.

“I think in spring training you’d probably have around 55 to 60 at-bats that you would feel comfortable with him, so he is getting closer,” Ventura said. “I know he’s been playing a lot in the outfield, so that’s good news.”

Through Thursday, Garcia had 50 at-bats with Charlotte over 13 games. He was batting .340 with three doubles and a home run.

Garcia might not make a difference when it comes to making a playoff push, but the White Sox would be interested in seeing how he and Jose Abreu can feed off each other in the same lineup. The club only saw what the duo looked like for eight games before Garcia went out.

“It would be a great thing if he would be able to come back. Obviously because of the effort that he’s put in to get back, but also because he’s going to help us as a team,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “I just thank God that he’s been able to do what he’s been able to do. That wasn’t easy. It took a lot of effort from him to work and to get where he’s at right now.”