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updated: 6/11/2014 12:21 AM

Injured Garcia can't bear to watch White Sox

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  • Injured White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia is keeping his focus on getting back into the lineup.

      Injured White Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia is keeping his focus on getting back into the lineup.
    Associated Press

 
 

The White Sox and Tigers were rained out Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, and that wasn't such a bad thing for right fielder Avisail Garcia.

Out for the season with a left-shoulder injury, Garcia insinuated that watching the Sox play is the hardest part of his rehab from season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum.

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"I check it out just with my phone, whether they're winning or losing," Garcia said at the Cell before the game was called. "But I don't watch the TV because it's too hard. I want to be there. I want to play. That's why I don't watch them."

The first major piece added to the White Sox' "reshaping" process, Garcia came over from Detroit last July in a three-way trade that sent starting pitcher Jake Peavy to Boston.

After batting .370 with 1 home run and 9 RBI in eight games with Class AAA Charlotte, Garcia joined the Sox on Aug. 9 and hit .304 with 5 homers and 21 RBI in 42 games.

Garcia, who turns 23 on Thursday, was 4-for-5 with 2 home runs and 3 RBI at Colorado on April 8 of this season. The next day, he tore up his shoulder attempting to make a diving catch in right field.

While he is often in the clubhouse getting treatment when the Sox are at home, Garcia hits the exits before the first pitch.

"It's good to always see the guys, joking around with the guys, stay with the team," Garcia said. "I don't stay for the game because I don't like it, I don't play."

Garcia said he would like to make it back this season, but that seems very unlikely since he estimated two months remain before he can resume baseball activities.

"I feel great right now, but I can't swing because it's going to hurt," Garcia said. "You have to rehab a lot to make it back. I don't know. Whatever the team wants me to do I will do. If I can play, play. I've just got to wait. I've just got to come here every day to work on my shoulder and see what happens."

Just when he was getting up and running with the White Sox, the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Garcia went down and out. Basically losing an entire season in a critical development stage has not been easy to handle.

"For me it's a lot (of disappointment) because I've been waiting for this for a long time," he said. "I was with the Tigers, so I didn't have too much playing time there. So I came here to get a chance to play every day and then I got injured.

"It's tough, but it's just believing in God and getting strong in my shoulder."

Garcia struck up an immediate friendship with another newcomer, Jose Abreu, early in spring training, and the two are locker neighbors in the clubhouse. While he might not watch the games, Garcia is well aware of Abreu's instant impact.

"Amazing," Garcia said. "He's got a lot of power. He's great in the field. He's got a great attitude, everything. He's good. I'm happy to have him here on the team, and I can't wait to see what we can do together. Let's see what happens. Let's go."

Garcia obviously is fired up to get back in the White Sox' lineup, but he still has a long road to complete recovery.

"It's hard, but I've got my family here," he said. "They've got my back. I just try to spend time with them and have fun. I've got work to do, so you've got to have fun. I don't think about it much, what happened, just what happens in the future, so that's the most important right now."

sgregor@dailyherald.com

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