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Wrist injury sends White Sox’ A.J. Pierzynski to DL for first time

Alejandro De Azdives safely inthird base with an RBI triple sixth inning thgave Sox 6-5 lead Tuesday night.  |

Alejandro De Aza dives safely into third base with an RBI triple in the sixth inning that gave the Sox a 6-5 lead Tuesday night. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: November 16, 2011 1:29AM

For the first time in his career, A.J. Pierzynski was put on the disabled list Tuesday. It turns out the White Sox catcher’s left wrist injury is more serious than believed.

Donny Lucy was called up from Class AAA Charlotte to back up Tyler Flowers, who assumes the starter’s role. Pierzynski is eligible to return on Aug. 28.

‘‘In 10 days, we will have some tests on him, and then if there’s cartilage growth in that area, then it’s an indication that it’s healing,’’ general manager Ken Williams said. ‘‘If there’s not, then it may mean he has to have surgery.’’

An MRI exam and CT scan performed Monday revealed a hairline fracture. The Sox training staff is characterizing it as a compression or bruise issue. The wrist will be placed in a cast to immobilize it.

‘‘Knowing me, I’d try to play today and go, but they’re basically doing this to keep me out of my own harm’s way,’’ said Pierzynski, who was hit by a pitch by the Kansas City Royals’ Bruce Chen on Friday. ‘‘I’m just gonna hope and pray it gets better and in 10 days I can start swinging a bat and get ready and hopefully be back by Sept. 1.’’

Flowers steps up

Flowers, who had four hits, including his first career home run while filling in for Pierzynski in the Royals series, is downplaying his big chance to step in.

‘‘Just another game,’’ Flowers said. ‘‘More cameras, but it’s the same thing. Can’t worry about it. I had a couple of good games, but I’m not concerned about Tyler Flowers getting a hit every game. I’m more concerned about our pitchers doing a good job and us scoring a few more runs than the other team.’’

Sox pitchers owned a 3.00  ERA over 48 innings going into Tuesday’s game with Flowers catching. He had thrown out 2 of 11 base stealers.

‘‘The big thing is with the pitchers and hopefully those guys working together,’’ Paul Konerko said. ‘‘Hitting-wise, A.J. is a constant threat to get a hit at all times.’’

What Sox will miss

Pierzynski was leading American League catchers with a .296 average and led catchers in games played (103) and innings caught (8621/3). Flowers’ take on the 34-year-old veteran he’s filling in for:

‘‘He’s definitely a presence on the field. People criticize his throwing and that kind of stuff. He throws the ball pretty well. It’s all about getting opportunities to throw guys out, so I don’t see it as a fair rap.

‘‘But the guy is a competitor in the dugout, on the field and in the clubhouse. He’s a good guy to be around. Keeps you focused and loose at same time. He pulls all the extremes of everybody’s personalities — the guys who are low, guys who are high. He’s that guy who keeps everyone in the game.’’

Paulie’s progress

Konerko, still slowed by a bruise on his left calf, took ground balls at first base, hoping to play first as soon as Wednesday.

‘‘We’ve had it all looked at from every angle. It’s fine,’’ Konerko said. ‘‘It’s just so deep in there with the swelling, it surrounds a nerve, and that’s what makes it more uncomfortable than a bruise to your leg or back or arm.’’

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