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updated: 7/31/2011 9:07 PM

Pitch hits a nerve near Konerko's knee

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The White Sox' offense is scuffling again, and it's not going to get any easier when Yankees ace CC Sabathia takes the mound Monday night at U.S. Cellular Field.

With any luck Paul Konerko will be in the lineup for the first of four games against New York, although manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't expect the Sox' best hitter to be available.

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Konerko was hit by a pitch Sunday from Red Sox starter Andrew Miller on the side of his left knee in the fourth inning. He stayed in the game but was forced to exit in the fifth.

"It hit me good right on the outside of the left knee," Konerko told reporters while Guillen was holding his postgame news conference. "There's a nerve there that obviously is irritated. The pain had gone away when I was at first during Carlos (Quentin's) at-bat, but the whole lower part of my leg was not there.

"No strength and no real feel to it. I couldn't bear weight on it. It was real weak, so that was that."

X-rays were negative, and Konerko will have to see if he can play against the Yankees Monday night.

"It's fine," said Konerko, who leads the White Sox in batting (.305), home runs (25) and RBI (76). "I'll be back in there tomorrow or within the next couple of days for sure."

Guillen is not so sure.

"When I went to the plate, I've managed him for a little while, I knew this guy can tolerate some pain and tough it out," Guillen said. "When I got back to the dugout, I told J.P. (Juan Pierre) to get loose because I don't think he's going to make it."

Next stop Cooperstown?

Frank Thomas is eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2014, and the former White Sox first baseman/designated hitter should go in on the first ballot.

Thomas played 18 major-league seasons and batted .301 with 521 home runs and 1,704 RBI.

After his life-size sculpture was unveiled on the left-field concourse Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field, Thomas was asked about the Hall of Fame.

"I try not to wonder," he said. "Every time somebody mentions that, I cross my fingers. There's nothing I can do. My resume's made. I just have to pray and hope just like everybody else that's in that position."

Thomas always was an outspoken critic of steroids in the game, so he should score plenty of early points with Hall of Fame voters.

"I did it the right way," said Thomas, who played with the White Sox from 1990-2005. "I didn't mind spending the extra hours because people thought I was crazy sitting in that weight room all the time and doing stuff other people wouldn't do. But I always cared about trying to be the best.

"A lot of guys didn't care about it. When the money exploded, I didn't care about the money exploding. It was more about me doing well every day and helping this team do well. That was my whole goal."

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