CHICAGO -- Judging by Ozzie Guillen's comments on Tuesday concerning Bobby Jenks, the White Sox closer isn't expected back any time soon from his current bout of ulnar neuritis in his right forearm.
"No, no. He's not in my mind, that's how far away he is," said Guillen of Jenks, who has not pitched since saving both ends of a doubleheader sweep on Sept. 4 at Fenway Park. "I don't know where he is right now or how he feels. He has to throw a bullpen and then after that, we have to decide what we do with him."
Jenks played catch on Tuesday and "felt all right," according to White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper. But Cooper said that when Jenks tried to go a little longer, "it didn't feel so good."
"He won't be available [Tuesday] and I find it hard to believe that he's going to be available tomorrow or the next day, but I could be wrong with that," Cooper continued. "That's where we're at with Bobby."
Rookie Chris Sale, Matt Thornton, J.J. Putz and Sergio Santos all could be closing options for the White Sox, depending on the matchups. Guillen has been going with Sale, who has given up one run over 15 2/3 innings, and has two saves this month.
Garcia not certain for Saturday start
CHICAGO -- The White Sox starting pitcher for Saturday's contest with Detroit probably will be determined by the result of the three games against American League Central-leading Minnesota.
Next on turn to pitch would be Freddy Garcia, after missing his last start on Sunday, as he let the medicine from an epidural go to work on his sore lower back. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen expects Garcia to take the baseball Saturday, but Garcia's bullpen session before Tuesday's series opener didn't exactly provide the same sort of encouragement.
"Freddy Garcia didn't feel so hot," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, who watched Garcia's bullpen session. "He still feels it when he's landing. He's going to be getting more treatment.
"Right now, he's scheduled to go Saturday. Today he took it out for a run and it didn't feel so great. Maybe a couple more days and we'll have something on Thursday light. And maybe different. But he'll continue to get treatment."
Garcia exited early from each of his last two starts, with the back stiffness limiting the right-hander to six innings in total. If Garcia can't go, the White Sox certainly would go with a young hurler such as Lucas Harrell or Carlos Torres if they lose this series to the Twins.
Tony Pena also would be an option out of the bullpen if the White Sox feel that they are still in contention.
"We'll deal with that on Saturday, but the options are the same we've had all along," Cooper said. "Could we come back and bring somebody back early? Maybe.
"Could we bring Lucas back? Maybe. Could we bring Pena? Maybe. Could we use Torres? Maybe. It hasn't been discussed yet because it's four days from now, and obviously these three days are more important than the fourth day."
Peavy making progress
CHICAGO -- The improvement has been noticeable for Jake Peavy in the right posterior shoulder area, where he had a detached latissimus dorsi muscle repaired on July 14.
"We're entering our third week of rehab, and I've almost got full range of motion back," Peavy said. "We haven't started incorporating any weights down below my shoulder, but we're right on the cusp of full range of motion.
"Within the next week, we think we'll have full range of motion back. It's a significant thing because you want to have that full range of motion when you haven't been able to do that."
Peavy still feels a little discomfort due to scar tissue. But he's been working through that problem with a massage therapist and is starting to get his rotator cuff "to fire up again."
"Any time you go through surgery and have a couple of different things, I certainly have some scar tissue in there and they think that's where my discomfort is coming from when we do reach the limit of trying to stretch it back out," Peavy said. "As far as the lat and the muscles surrounding the lat, the doctors have been feeling them on a daily basis and think that everything feels great.
"Once we get past all the rehab, we might have one more MRI just to make sure everything looks good to go with starting big-time weight lifting. Stuff like that probably won't happen before, maybe December."
According to Peavy, throwing isn't planned to resume until around the first of the new year.
Big series quotables
CHICAGO -- The opening of this do-or-die series for the White Sox produced a couple of interesting and entertaining quotes from the South Siders before the first pitch.Here's Manny Ramirez on how to attack Twins ace Francisco Liriano.
"I don't know," Ramirez said. "I haven't been in the American League for 2 1/2 years so I don't know."
Ramirez finished 0-for-2 with a walk against Liriano during Tuesday's 9-3 loss to the Twins.As for the White Sox need to sweep this series to have even a remote chance, here's team captain Paul Konerko on the outside perspective of his team.
"At this point, with games remaining and where it's at in the schedule, most people, say 95 percent of all people, are counting us out anyways, and rightfully so," Konerko said. "I would do the same if looking at it from the outside in. It's still there. Win these head-to-heads and something can happen."
Third to first
Paul Konerko's fourth-inning triple Tuesday was the eighth of his career and his first since Aug. 26, 2009, at Boston. He is batting .455 with six RBIs over his last six games. ... Alexei Ramirez is 10-for-20 lifetime against Francisco Liriano, singling twice and driving home two runs during Tuesday's 9-3 loss. ... Matt Thornton tied a season high with four earned runs allowed in the eighth inning of Tuesday's loss. ... The White Sox are 30-34 against the American League Central and 2-8 in their last 10 against the Twins. ... The White Sox lost after having a lead for the 31st time this season.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.