|A head injury could wreck Konerko's season. (Getty Images)|
Bad news for the White Sox: Paul Konerko was not in the lineup Wednesday night and it wasn't just for some dog-days-of-summer rest. He actually suffered a mild concussion in Tuesday's game against the Royals.
"There have been some serious things with concussions, so he's got to get evaluated (Friday)," said White Sox manager Robin Ventura (ChicagoTribune.com). "There is the seven-day (disabled list) if it's too bad. I don't know if it's there, but he does have a mild one. So it was more of a precaution to keep him out. In no way could he have played (Wednesday). It's just better to keep him out."
Ventura also told reporters that Konerko didn't sleep well. He was inadvertantly struck in the head by baserunner Jarrod Dyson Tuesday.
Now, let's not let that word "mild" in there fool us. This is a serious issue. Lingering concussion symptoms have at least temporarily derailed -- among others -- the careers of Brian Roberts, Justin Morneau and Jason Bay.
Konerko is still playing like he's in his prime, but he's 36 and certainly has his eyes on quality of life once his baseball career is over. Team and individual pursuits are obviously not close to Konerko's physical and mental health in terms of priorities.
That being said, this issue obviously has a shot to seriously impact the playoff race. Konerko is hitting .316/.388/.504 with 18 homers and 54 RBI. He made the All-Star team for the sixth time this season and anchors that offense. The White Sox hold a half-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central and whichever team loses out there is right in the thick of the wild-card race.
Again, though, Konerko's well-being is the most important thing here. The good news, for now, is that it seems the symptoms are mild enough that Konerko may not even hit the DL. We'll see, but this is a situation that bears watching on several fronts.