Sox clear Luis Robert to begin rehab stint Wednesday with Class A Winston-Salem
Luis Robert has come quite a long ways since tearing his right hip flexor running to first base in a May 2 loss to the Indians at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Not long after hitting the ground in pain and being helped back to the White Sox clubhouse, Robert started fearing the worst.
"I never experienced an injury as severe as that one," Robert said Monday through Sox translator Billy Russo. "My first thought was, 'Oh, this is really bad. I don't know if I'm going to come back this season.' It was pain. But luckily it wasn't as bad as I thought at first and then when I got the news I will be able to come back this season, I felt much better."
On June 29, Robert was cleared to resume baseball activities at the White Sox's training complex in Glendale, Ariz.
On Wednesday, he'll begin a minor-league rehabilitation assignment with low Class A Winston-Salem.
"I'm very happy with the process and the results that I've been getting," Robert said. "I wasn't expecting to have this process (go) as fast as it's gone. That's the good news. I'm just excited to start the rehab process on Wednesday."
Robert didn't have surgery to repair the hip flexor, and the original expectation was he'd be out 3-4 months.
The 23-year-old outfielder looks to be on the front end of that recovery timetable.
"I've felt pretty good for the last two weeks," said Robert, who hit .316/.359/.463 with 9 doubles, 1 home run, 8 RBI and 4 stolen bases in 25 games before getting hurt. "At first I was a little concerned or afraid because I wasn't sure if I was going to be at full speed. But then I started feeling more comfortable, more secure about the leg and right now I feel pretty good."
If Robert continues trending in the right direction on his rehab assignment, he should be able to rejoin the Sox lineup at some point during the second week of August.
"I think the last test is going to be when I start a real game," Robert said. "That's when I'm going to see if the fear is there or not. Right now, I'm just waiting for that game on Wednesday and see what happens and how it goes. Once I play there, I can tell you how the fear factor is."
Teammate and close friend Eloy Jimenez (ruptured left pectoral tendon) started his rehab assignment on July 10.
Jimenez played 2 games with Winston-Salem and has played the last 5 with Class AAA Charlotte.
Getting Jimenez and Robert back in the lineup is going to make an already strong White Sox team even better.
"We are very happy and excited," Robert said. "We know we are going to be back soon. We talk every day. We talk about the things we want to do once we come back and how important it's going to be for the team. It's going to be fun. We are excited to come back and play here and help the team.
"It has been very important for the team and for us to see that the guys have played good baseball, the team has filled our void and has been producing and helping the team. It's a relief and it's a motivation for us."