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Jake Peavy day-to-day with strained groin

Updated: September 29, 2011 12:27AM

White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy’s status remains day-to-day after an MRI exam Monday revealed a mild strain of his right groin.

Peavy might land on the disabled list, but that could depend on how quickly his injury responds to treatment and how quickly he believes he can return.

“We’re prepared for the worst,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said. “We’re making a couple of plans just in case he can’t [pitch]. We have to go by what he says and how he feels. He has the last word.’’

Should Peavy become unavailable, Guillen said the Sox would go back to the five-man rotation they used before Peavy’s return last month. The team opted to use a six-man rotation with Peavy and a smaller bullpen because of how well Peavy’s fill-in, Phil Humber, has pitched.

If the five-man rotation returns, Guillen said another reliever likely would be recalled to serve in a long-man role or Tony Pena, who’s on the disabled list with elbow tendinitis, might be reactivated.

Peavy was hurt while pitching Sunday against the Detroit Tigers. He had a perfect first three innings but was affected in the fourth after trying to cover first base on an attempted double play. The 2007 National League Cy Young Award winner said he first felt the problem while pitching in his last start in Boston a week earlier.

Peavy walked three in the inning, after issuing one walk in his previous four starts, and gave up three hits, including a grand slam, as the Tigers scored six runs.

“I’m not going to pitch him if he can’t,’’ Guillen said. “He has to make a decision on what he wants to do.’’

Peavy had the exam on Monday afternoon, then came to U.S. Cellular Field before the start of the Sox’ game against the Seattle Mariners. He immediately began treatment with trainer Herm Schneider.

Guillen said Peavy had not asked to come out of Sunday’s game, nor had he noticed a physical problem.

“He has kind of a funky delivery,’’ Guillen said. ‘‘It’s hard to see if he injured his leg. But I noticed in Boston he was tight. I asked Hermie to check him out because he wasn’t walking the right way.

“This guy wants to help us. There aren’t too many guys who go out there hurt. This guy was working so hard the last couple of years to be on the mound. I feel bad because now he [might] have to go back on rehab.”

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