Paul Konerko concerned about knee

MINNEAPOLIS -- Concerned that he isn't feeling any improvement with his injured left knee, Paul Konerko said Sunday that he asked the Chicago White Sox training staff whether some of the nerve damage he experienced could be permanent.

Konerko was told it wasn't, and that nerve damage tends to heal slower than other injuries, but the first baseman still would like more reassurances on the matter if he hasn't improved by the time the White Sox end their current road trip in Baltimore on Thursday.

By then, Konerko said he would request the MRI equivalent for examining nerve injuries.

Konerko was injured July 31 when he was hit on the side of the left knee by a pitch from the Red Sox's Andrew Miller. He remained in the game for the remainder of the half inning, but exited after that and missed the next three contests, all losses to the New York Yankees.

Konerko has returned to the lineup as the White Sox's designated hitter, and was in that role for Sunday's series finale against the Minnesota Twins. He went 1-for-4 with a solo home run before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the White Sox's 7-0 win to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.

Konerko had thought he had a chance to return to first base by the time the club started a four-game series at Baltimore on Monday. Now it looks as if he won't be playing in the field until the team returns home Friday for a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals.

Konerko joked that he's dying to play the infield again.

"It's more work to DH," he said. "I've never taken more swings during a game [between at-bats] in my life."

Doug Padilla covers the White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.