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Injured Jenks running out of time

9/16/2010

CHICAGO – From the sound of it, Bobby Jenks might have thrown his last pitch of the season, and possibly his last in a White Sox uniform.

The right-hander, who is signed through this season, continues to deal with a right forearm strain that first started to plague him last week at Detroit. He is expected to at least miss the rest of this homestand.

“Bobby has a long way to go,” manager Ozzie Guillen said. “Bobby might be pitching, maybe, I expect, I don’t know if he will be, in Detroit series. Hopefully when we go to the West Coast he’ll be ready to pitch. I cannot say the date because I don’t hear anything positive about the situation. That’s why I got to hold on and see how he’s doing.”

The White Sox head out on a six-game road trip to Oakland and Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels starting Monday.

Jenks burst onto the scene in 2005, helping the White Sox win a World Series. He has been an elite closer ever since, saving a career-best 41 games in 2006 and compiling 173 saves in 5 1/2 seasons.

But he is making $7.5 million this season and figures to make even more in 2011 in his final year of arbitration eligibility. If the White Sox non-tender Jenks, he becomes a free agent.

If the club does decide to part ways with the hard-throwing right-hander, they would likely then work at re-signing J.J. Putz, whose contract expires at the end of this year. Putz, Sergio Santos and even rookie Chris Sale would be in line to take over the closer role next year.