CHICAGO – Nate Jones is throwing again after back surgery, and Matt Lindstrom has exchanged the cast on his lower left leg for a walking boot.
Those are small milestones for Chicago's injured relievers, who are just happy to be around their White Sox teammates for the first time in a long while.
"You feel a little disconnected from them, but you do your best to keep being that cheerleader and keep rooting them on, keeping their confidence up," Jones said before Tuesday night's game against Detroit was rained out.
Jones had back surgery on May 5. The right-hander has been limited to just two appearances this season, failing to retire a batter in a pair of April games.
Jones, who went 4-5 with a 4.15 ERA in 70 games last season, said he threw from about 50 to 60 feet on Monday and planned to increase the distance on Tuesday.
"The goal is to stay healthy throughout," Jones said before Tuesday's session. "I think we got through that first stage of just being a regular person and now it's staying healthy and becoming a pitcher. I don't know how long that's going to take. We'll take it one day at a time."
Lindstrom had surgery on his left ankle May 23. He got his cast off and his stitches taken out on Tuesday.
"It was a little bit sore, but the doctors were surprised there wasn't much swelling and not that much atrophy in the leg. So it was pretty good news," Lindstrom said. "Even today walking around I'm a lot better, obviously with a boot on for a little while. But it's good to be in the clubhouse and see the guys. It's been a long two weeks just being away from the game."
Lindstrom was injured fielding a bunt in the ninth inning of a 7-6 victory at Kansas City on May 19. There is some question about whether he will be able to return this season, but the righty has been doing some exercises to keep his arm strong and believes he will return this year.
"I'm just going to follow what the doctors have to say and everything like that," said Lindstrom, who is 2-1 with six saves and a 3.32 ERA in 19 games. "But there is no timetable as far as when exactly that is going to be, but I'm looking forward to getting back on the mound. It will be this year for sure though."
There was no immediate announcement of a makeup date for the first postponed White Sox home game of the season. Detroit returns to Chicago for a three-game series from Aug. 29-31.
The tarp stayed on the field all day as intermittent rain fell in the Chicago area. With more wet weather in the forecast for the rest of the night, the game was called about 2 hours before the scheduled start.
The White Sox used the rainout to skip Andre Rienzo's turn in the rotation. Left-hander John Danks was moved back a day to Wednesday, and Chris Sale will pitch in the series finale on Thursday. Rienzo, who has dropped each of his last three starts, will pitch Sunday against Kansas City.
Detroit adjusted its rotation. Drew Smyly, who was slated to start Wednesday's game, was pushed out of the series altogether. Justin Verlander was moved back to Wednesday and Max Scherzer will face Sale on Thursday in a matchup of two of the best pitchers in the AL.
In addition to Jones and Lindstrom, outfielder Avisail Garcia is rehabbing his left shoulder following season-ending surgery. The 22-year-old Garcia was injured when he attempted a diving catch on April 9 at Colorado. He is expected to be ready for the start of spring training next season, without any restrictions.
"It's hard but I've got my family here," he said. "They've got my back. I just try to spend time with them and have fun. I've got work to do so you've got to have fun. Don't think about it much what happened, just what happens in the future so that's the most important right now."
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap