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Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Optimistic Konerko not thinking retirement

By Bruce Levine

Chicago White Sox
Despite a tough end to the year, Paul Konerko enjoyed the 2012 season.
Although the 2012 season has ended in disappointment, the future for the Chicago White Sox appears bright to Paul Konerko.

The Sox captain will be entering the last season of a three-year contract while playing at age 37, and he is not considering retirement.

"That is something I really have not even thought about," Konerko said Wednesday. "I am looking forward to next season just like I always have. After that we will have to see what is happening."

Like many of his teammates, Konerko enjoyed the atmosphere and work ethic around the clubhouse this season.

"If this year proved anything, they trusted a lot of young guys and many of them came through and did well," he said. "They had not done much of that in the past, so now there would be no fear of doing that again.

"We had a lot of young guys do well in a lot of different spots, so as far as bringing veterans back they will have to figure it out. I guess it is a good problem to have."

Konerko will have surgery to remove a floating bone chip from his left hand on Thursday. It has been a minor problem for him since 2009 but has been more of a nuisance this year.

"There was a time in May after I got a shot that it didn’t feel well," he said. "Nothing to write home about.There was nothing else you could do with it except what we are doing. It was not a factor in any way other then in early May. I never had surgery before, but other than that I have no reservations about my wrist in the future."

The team's sudden collapse during the final two weeks of the season -- 4-11 heading into the finale -- bothered the Sox veteran but did not ruin the essence of the year for him.

"All in all, other than the last handful of games, the year was great in just about every aspect," Konerko said. "The only thing that wasn’t great was the results. That is the real shame of it. As far as approach and team and all the stuff you would want to see all year it was all there. There was nothing negative you could say."

Konerko feels that given similar circumstances next year the Sox will be in better position to capitalize on the opportunity.

"All of this lets you know that making the playoffs and going to the postseason is a special thing," he said. "If we get back into the same spot next year that will remind us you have to go the whole way. It is like leading after eight innings, it is great but you have to play nine and that is kind of how I look at it."