Updated: September 1, 2014 8:04AM
DETROIT — White Sox right-hander Nate Jones, who has missed almost the entire season because of a back problem, sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament while ramping up his comeback effort from that injury and will be out 12-15 months. Jones, 28, had Tommy John surgery Tuesday, general manager Rick Hahn said.
Jones, thought by some to be the top closer coming out of spring training after Hahn traded away Addison Reed for prospect Matt Davidson, had undergone a microdisectomy and a nerve reduction in early May. His rehabilitation from the Tommy John surgery will begin Monday.
“A lot of times with the UCL tear there’s a specific instance where a player feels a pop so to speak, or something specifically tear,’’ Hahn said. “That did not happen in this specific occasion.’’
Jones, who had been traveling with the team recently, felt a burning sensation in the elbow, shut it down for a while and still felt soreness when he tried throwing again. That’s when the tear was diagnosed. Missing next season strikes a considerable blow to a team that is already thin in the bullpen.
“It’s unexpected, but at the same time, we have time to react to it,’’ Hahn said. “While he conceivably could have played an important role at the back of the pen, we have time to address the void he leaves for the foreseeable future.’’
Hahn said it creates an opportunity for someone to step up and “fill the void or potentially another item to pursue in the coming weeks and months.’’
Garcia, Lindstrom to Charlotte
Right fielder Avisail Garcia and right-hander Matt Lindstrom will begin rehabilitation assignments with Class AAA Charlotte on Friday.
Lindstrom, who had ankle surgery in May, is looking at an Aug. 7 return when the White Sox open a road trip in Seattle.
There is no specific timetable for Garcia’s return, but he could use all 20 days of the rehab assignment, which makes the last week of August a possible scenario.
Garcia will start at designated hitter for Charlotte and work his way into the outfield.
“There is no specific timeframe for his return,’’ said Hahn, adding Garcia’s time at Charlotte essentially will be like spring training.
“We suspect it’s going to take a number of reps, a number of at-bats to get back ready for big league action.
“For Lindy it’s a little bit different of a situation with a reliever who is accustomed to doing one-inning stretches.”
Rodon’s Class A debut
Carlos Rodon, the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, pitched his first inning at the Class A level Wednesday, striking out the side but allowing two runs on a hit and two walks.
“He’s still getting his feet wet in pro ball, but one thing that has stood out the most as we’ve gotten to know him better is his professionalism and work ethic,’’ Hahn said.
“We’ve all seen the stuff, but once you get to know the player and his makeup, and it’s confirmed what our scouts had in their report, it certainly gives you a good feeling and bodes well for his future.’’