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Adam Engel called it a “tough” season.
Injuries have limited the Chicago White Sox outfielder, but he was back Tuesday and in the lineup against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. It was his 34th game this season.
“It feels great, man,” said Engel, who had been on the injured list since Aug. 13 with left shoulder inflammation. “It feels good to be back. I was able to watch the game (Monday) night from the dugout. It’s good to be back with everybody. Ready to get going again.”
Engel had a .248/.339/.505 slash line with six doubles, seven home runs, 18 RBIs and 19 runs entering Tuesday. He went 1-for-4 with a run in his return.
“He’s an outstanding defender, baserunner and competitor,” Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “Another key is we’ve had him a couple of times and lost him. We need to keep him out there and do everything we can to make that happen. But he’s a really good player so he helps us.”
Engel previously missed time with a strained right hamstring.
“It’s been tough, man, to be honest with you,” he said. “Every time something happens, go to the trainers and having to say, ‘Hey something’s going on here,’ and the next thing you know, I figure out it’s going to set me back a week, two weeks, whatever the case may be.
“So that’s been really hard, but I’m excited to get going again. I take a lot of pride in trying to prepare my body the best way I can. The whole injury bug’s been tough, but I’m going to put that behind me and get going and try to win a ring.”
The shoulder wasn’t the only issue this time, Engel said, citing a groin problem.
“It’s just been one of those years, man,” he said.
Engel appeared in eight rehab games with Triple-A Charlotte before returning.
“I’m trying to win every game I play in, whether it’s a rehab game or whether it’s regular season, postseason, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I’d be lying if I told you it doesn’t matter. But I’m glad the timing is working out the way it is so I can get into the feel and the speed of a big-league game.
“I’m excited just to get back out there and play ball, one. But two, to help the team win going down the stretch here and hopefully hit my stride going into the postseason.”
In Tuesday’s corresponding move, the Sox optioned infielder Romy González to Charlotte. He went 8-for-32 (.250) with three doubles, two RBIs and four runs in 10 games with the Sox.
Reliever Ryan Tepera also provided an injury update. The right-hander has been on the IL since Sept. 11 with a cut on his right index finger.
“(Tuesday) was probably the first day I’ve really been able to kind of let it go,” Tepera said. “Still wrapped. The cut is sealed up. The little piece of skin flap was sealed down. So we didn’t have to cut that off, which is a good thing. It’s more like a little blood blister right now. It’s a little bit sensitive in that little spot where it jabbed me and where it went in deep.
“Progress is good. I’m hoping next couple of days (to) probably play catch without a wrap on and then possibly get off a mound in Cleveland. ... Hopefully get off the mound twice and then tentatively looking at one game in the Cincinnati series and then one or two (during) the last homestand against (the Tigers). Probably try to get in two or three games before the playoffs.”