Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/14/12

The Chicago White Sox's lineup just doesn't look the same when the team captain is out of it. That was evident once again Monday night, as Chicago struggled to score runs in the 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

That meant Adam Dunn carrying the load with two solo homers, but having to play first base with Paul Konerko out. That meant catcher A.J. Pierzynski forced into the designated hitter role. And that meant Alex Rios bumped up from his normal fifth spot in the order to the cleanup role that Konerko usually occupies.

But it wasn't all bad for the Sox. They may have lost the first game in the series, but they did get some good news about Konerko and the concussion that landed him on the seven-day disabled list.

Four days in advance of being eligible to be activated, Konerko received an encouraging checkup at Rush University Medical Center.

"He was checked out and everything is looking good," manager Robin Ventura said. "(Tuesday) he'll probably start riding the (stationary) bike and doing physical stuff. I don't know if he will do a whole lot of baseball stuff, but he will start getting some activity in to see how that goes. But things are progressing."

Konerko might play catch Tuesday and begin taking ground balls and doing some running by Wednesday. He would do so all in Chicago with a training staff, with the team playing in Toronto.

As far as a return to the starting lineup, Friday's game in Kansas City isn't out of the question but is a best-case scenario. He'll have to pass one more test before he comes off the DL, and of course that also means the dizziness he had been feeling at night has to subside completely.

Because of the value Konerko brings to the ballclub, both physically and with his leadership skills, no chances will be taken.

"You cross your fingers and hope it's Friday," Ventura said. "When people think about the White Sox, he's the first thing you think of because of his tenure, stature on the team and the way he goes about things.

"He does things the right way, a lead-by-example guy more than a loud person. Those are the things you miss. The example he sets on how guys act, prepare and play the game."

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