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Article updated: 4/21/2013 11:31 PM

White Sox' Danks eager to return

By Scot Gregor

John Danks joined up with the White Sox on Sunday, a day after his latest outing in extended spring training.

If everything goes well in an expected meeting with trainer Herm Schneider and other members of the Sox' staff Monday, Danks finally might be able to bid adieu to Arizona and go out on a minor-league rehab assignment.

"I think I'm ready to go throw somewhere, and I'll tell them that (Monday)," Danks said. "I think I've done everything I can do in Arizona, and I'm ready to get into a real game atmosphere."

Danks still is trying to make it back from Aug. 6 shoulder surgery. It has been a trying process so far, but the 28-year-old starting pitcher finally is seeing real progress.

"I'm feeling good and seeing improvements each time out," said Danks, who threw 6 innings Saturday. "In spring training, I was able to play catch and do what you kind of have to do, but it didn't feel great playing catch.

"The last few starts, it's felt great between starts. I think that's a good sign. Everything's on the up; we're on an upswing right now. It's been a lot of peaks and valleys."

Stay the course:

Even though he was riding an 0-for-29 slump and a left-handed starter (Minnesota's Scott Diamond) was on the mound, Adam Dunn was in the White Sox' starting lineup Sunday.

Dunn struck out in his first two trips to the plate before hitting a solo home run to end the slide. Manager Robin Ventura said he's going to stick with the slumping slugger for the good of the team.

"You can think about anything, but for us to turn around and start playing better, he's going to have to get some hits and be part of that, part of the answer," Ventura said of Dunn.

Getting it done:

Jeff Keppinger has been spending more time at second base since Gordon Beckham went on the disabled list with a fractured left hamate bone.

That has opened up more playing time for Conor Gillaspie at third base, and he's making the most of it. He still doesn't have a home run or an RBI, but he's batting .300 and has been better than expected with the glove.

"Once you get an opportunity to play, I think your confidence grows," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "For him, I think that's been happening. I think more defensively.

"Offensively, we knew he could swing it. He had a pretty good spring swinging the bat. His thing is he's always willing to do whatever. I think if we asked him to catch, he'd probably do that, too."

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