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updated: 3/24/2013 8:22 PM

Road back for Danks just got bumpier

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  • Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks delivers against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a spring training baseball game Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Goodyear, Ariz.

    Chicago White Sox starting pitcher John Danks delivers against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a spring training baseball game Tuesday, March 19, 2013, in Goodyear, Ariz.
    Associated Press


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Danks is going to make a start later this week. It's just not going to be with the White Sox.

As he continues battling back from Aug. 6 surgery on his throwing (left) shoulder, Danks has been lifted from Cactus League competition.

On Sunday morning, he threw 66 pitches in a minor-league intrasquad game. It did not go well, as Danks gave up home runs to Cody Puckett, Kevan Smith, Trayce Thompson and Brady Shoemaker.

The way Danks sees it, he got some needed work.

"It's part of the process of building up arm strength and making pitches do what you want them to do," Danks said. "I would say it was a positive day getting back out there five days later and feeling like we're on the right track. That's all we can ask for."

The Sox break camp Wednesday and play exhibition games at Milwaukee on Friday and Saturday.

Following a 10 a.m. workout at U.S. Cellular Field on Sunday, they open the regular season the next day against the Royals.

Danks is scheduled to pitch again, probably on Friday, in another game at Camelback Ranch.

"He'll throw in these minor-league games here because it's just better for him to throw in games than it is to just throw side sessions," manager Robin Ventura said.

Considering the surgery Danks had, the White Sox are in no rush to get him back.

"The good thing is we have a little depth here," Paul Konerko said. "You just want to see him get healthy and get back to being himself. Of course we want him out there. But I don't care how long it takes personally; I'd rather see him have good stuff."

Getting the zip back on his fastball is a hurdle Danks has yet to clear.

"My game is changing speeds," Danks said. "I've never been a high velocity guy, but I need more velocity than I have now to make that gap a little bigger. If I can get back to 91, 92 (mph), that's what I've always been. I definitely have a ways to go."

Dylan Axelrod was Danks' mound opponent in Sunday's minor-league game. Axelrod is the likely choice to start in Danks' place when the regular season opens.

Rios sidelined:

Alex Rios missed his second straight game Sunday with a stiff lower back, but the right fielder said it's no big deal.

"It's something that (trainer) Herm (Schneider) loosened up," Robin Ventura said. "It's getting better. I'm not worried about the season or anything like that. We're just trying to get him maybe one more, two more (games) down here before we go."

Heating up:

Jake Peavy started against the Dodgers on Saturday night in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 13,721 at Camelback Ranch.

Peavy allowed 4 runs on 7 hits in 5 innings, but he was excited afterward with a fastball that hit 93 mph.

"You know, I've talked to the doctor and multiple others said, after you have a major surgery, two years is really when you kind of see what you've got," said Peavy, who had surgery to repair a detached lat on July 14, 2010. "The (velocity) readings that I was getting feedback on, I was throwing the ball a few miles harder than I ever did at any point and time last year.

"I'm excited about that. What that translates into you never know. It's nice to know your arm speed is there and the ball is coming out of your hand good."

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