Abreu, who last played on May 17, took part in a few simulated games this week, and despite being hit by a pitch, he's set to return to the lineup for the White Sox' series opener in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. It will be a rude welcome for the Cuban slugger, who will have to face Clayton Kershaw in his first game back, but the Sox will nevertheless be thrilled to have Abreu back in the lineup.
Even so, the Sox have held up surprisingly well since Abreu's injury, going 8-6 during his absence. He has since fallen to fourth in the majors in home runs—he was first before landing on the DL—but Abreu is still among the leaders in a variety of stats, including slugging percentage (.595), OPS (.908) and extra base hits (27).
In Abreu's absence, Adam Dunn has filled in at first base, with Paul Konerko shifting over to DH. The results haven't been pretty: Dunn is 6-for-40 (.150) with a pair of homers and 17 strikeouts since May 17, while Konerko has been similarly abysmal (5-for-38, one homer, no walks) during the same span.
In other words, manager Robin Ventura will be relieved to have his best hitter back in the lineup, though Abreu had been in a funk himself in the seven games leading up to his injury, with four hits in 26 at-bats. It will be interesting to see if Abreu can break out of his slump and shake off the rustiness quickly.