John Danks to start Friday

Updated: May 23, 2013, 1:11 AM ET
By Bruce Levine | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox announced Wednesday night that starting pitcher John Danks will come off the disabled list and make his first start in more than a year.

Danks, who last pitched in May 2012, had first tried to rehabilitate the shoulder injury before opting for surgery in August to repair his rotator cuff and biceps. He will take the mound Friday at home against the Miami Marlins.

"It has been a long recovery," Danks said. "I am excited to get back here and feel like a part of the team, feel like a big leaguer again."

The left-hander began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this month, making four appearances after failing to build sufficient arm strength during several spring training starts. He stayed behind in Glendale, Ariz., to pitch against minor leaguers.

Danks, 27, signed a five-year, $65 million contract with the White Sox before the 2012 season. He has a career record of 57-60 with a 4.12 ERA. He last pitched in the majors on May 19, 2012, going 5 1/3 innings in a victory against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

"I know I will [have butterflies]. It has been a long time," Danks said. "This will be fun to get back and it has been a long couple months since spring training."

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he expected Danks to be prepared to go deep into Friday's start.

"He would not be here in this spot if we were expecting him to go four innings," Ventura said. "He is ready to go and he feels he is strong enough and will give us a good chance to win."

The White Sox will decide over the next few days if right-hander Dylan Axelrod or left-hander Hector Santiago will be removed from the rotation to accommodate Danks.

"That is tough," Ventura said. "That is a part of being in baseball, but we have to do what is best for us. We will figure it out on Friday."

To clear a roster spot, left-hander Donnie Veal was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after Wednesday's game.

Bruce Levine | email

Chicago baseball beat reporter
Bruce Levine has covered sports in Chicago for over 28 years and hosts "Talkin' Baseball," heard Saturday mornings on ESPN 1000.

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