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Chicago White Sox star shortstop Tim Anderson is expected to miss approximately six weeks following surgery to repair a "sagittal band tear on the middle finger of his left hand," the team announced Thursday. Anderson in his age-29 season has put up a batting line of .301/.339/.395 (108 OPS+) with six home runs and 13 stolen bases in as many attempts. 

A two-time All-Star and one of the faces of MLB right now, Anderson boasts an OPS+ of 122 since the start of his breakout 2019 season. The best guess is that veteran utility man Leury García fills in at shortstop while Anderson is on the shelf. The drop-off, particularly on offense, figures to be substantial. 

This is a serious blow to a White Sox team that, despite falling short of expectations thus far in 2022, is in the thick of the American League Central race. Chicago enters Thursday's slate with a 56-55 record. While they're presently in third place behind the Cleveland Guardians and Minnesota Twins, they're just 2 1/2 games off Cleveland's. Right now, the SportsLine Projection System gives them a 41.9 percent chance of making the postseason for a third straight year, but Anderson's injury will diminish that figure. 

The Sox will play six of their final nine regular season games against the Twins, and the hope is that Anderson will be back in time for what figures to be a critical pair of series.