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White Sox slugger Adam Dunn sidelined after appendectomy

Updated: April 6, 2011 5:19PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- White Sox slugger Adam Dunn underwent an appendectomy late Tuesday night and will miss up to five days, according to the White Sox.

Dunn, the team’s $56 million designated hitter, will travel home with the team after it plays the Royals this afternoon. He is expected to be at the ballpark at some point during the game, the Sox said.

“He said he wants to be out there tomorrow but I don’t want to take the risk,’’ Guillen said. “He said he can pinch-hit today, but that’s crazy.’’

Dunn played in the Sox’ 7-6 loss to the Royals on Tuesday night, and was removed in the 12th inning for pinch runner Brent Lillibridge after reaching first base on a fielder’s choice. Dunn was 0-for-4 with a walk, hit-by-pitch and a run scored.

Sox manager Ozzie Guillen has said he will pinch run at times for Dunn and slow-footed Paul Konerko late in games at times, so there appeared to be nothing unusual about Dunn coming out of the game. Lillibridge was eventually caught between second and third on a pickoff move by Royals pitcher Jeremy Jeffress.

Dunn had a laparoscopic appendectomy, a minimally invasive surgical technique to remove the appendix. The Sox open a four-game series at home against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.

“Will you see him tomorrow? I try to stay away from him because that’s the best for him and the ballclub and to me the player is more important than the club,’’ Guillen said. “When we get back to Chicago the doctor will check him again and we’ll make a decision if he can play this weekend or wait till the next series.’’

Against left-hander Jeff Francis today, Lastings Milledge and Ramon Castro will get their first starts of the season. The Sox lineup: Juan Pierre, DH; Gordon Beckham, 2B; Alex Rios, CF; Paul Konerko, 1B; Carlos Quentin, RF; Alexei Ramirez, SS; Milledge, LF; Castro, C; Brent Morel, 3B. Mark Buehrle will pitch.

“We were going to play Milledge anyway to get him some at-bats,” Guillen said.

Dunn is 4-for-14 with a home run, double, three runs scored and five RBI in the Sox’ first four games. He homered in his second at-bat as a Sox on Opening Day. He was signed as a free agent to a four-year deal this past off-season.

Last week, Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday underwent an appendectomy.

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