Early return? Dunn hoping to defy the odds

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel chat before the Sox home opener at U.S. Cellular Field Thursday.

      Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel chat before the Sox home opener at U.S. Cellular Field Thursday. JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

  • JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.comSox great Minnie Minoso throws out the ceremonial first pitch to manager Ozzie Guillen during the home opener at U.S. Cellular Field Thursday.

    JOE LEWNARD/jlewnard@dailyherald.comSox great Minnie Minoso throws out the ceremonial first pitch to manager Ozzie Guillen during the home opener at U.S. Cellular Field Thursday.

 
 
Updated 4/7/2011 7:29 PM

Even after the surgeon who removed his appendix said the normal recovery time was three weeks, Adam Dunn was still determined to play in the White Sox' home opener Thursday.

Dunn had an appendectomy Tuesday night in Kansas City following the Sox' 12-inning loss to the Royals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"When the doctor said three weeks was normal, I said, 'What if you're not normal?'" Dunn said. "He kind of looked at me and said 10 days, so I just cut that in half."

While the surgical procedure was laparoscopic and left Dunn with only a small incision, the 31-year-old designated hitter was unable to play Thursday, and he's likely to be out for at least a few more days.

"I thought I would be a lot better than what I am," Dunn said. "I'm really disappointed that I'm not playing in this game today. I know it probably doesn't mean a lot, just another game to a lot of people. But home openers are really special especially when it's your first one. I definitely wanted to be out there and it's not going to work."

As for his return, Dunn said he hopes to play Friday.

"I just had to push it back a day," Dunn said. "Hopefully tomorrow it will be better. That's what I'm shooting for."

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Milledge out:

Carrying only six pitchers in the bullpen and coming off consecutive 12-inning games at Kansas City, the White Sox made a roster move to resolve the problem before Thursday's game against the Rays.

Outfielder Lastings Milledge was designated for assignment, and he's likely to land at Class AAA Charlotte if he clears waivers.

That opened a spot for relief pitcher Jeff Gray, who was 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in seven games with the Cubs last season.

Milledge appeared in two games for the White Sox and was 1-for-4 with a double. He also botched two plays in left field, one at Kansas City on Wednesday and the other at Cleveland on Saturday.

"He handled it very well," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I talked to Milledge about the problem we have. Unfortunately, that's part of the game. It's one of the hardest talks I had with any of the players."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Getting a shot:

With Adam Dunn out with an appendectomy, red-hot Carlos Quentin was the Sox' designated hitter in Thursday's hone opener.

Quentin was 0-for-2 but reached base on a walk and hit by pitch.

Brent Lillibridge made a surprise start in right field and was 2-for-3 with an RBI and 2 stolen bases.

"He played well," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He made things happen. He bunted the ball, got a big hit, a couple of nice plays in the outfield. That's what we want from him. I know I can't ask him for much because I don't know how much game time he's going to get, but every time we put this kid out there he's been doing a pretty good job."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

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