Carlos Rodon pitches in the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP) | AP Photos

White Sox rotation about to be complete again

OAKLAND, Calif. — Left-hander Carlos Rodon is expected to return to the starting rotation Friday when the White Sox open a three-game series against the Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“Right now, we’re excited, we think Carlos is scheduled to pitch tomorrow,” manager Tony La Russa said Thursday before the Sox played the Athletics to wrap up a road trip Thursday afternoon. “He’s made good progress.”

And the injury news got better. Lance Lynn (right knee) should come off the IL to pitch Sunday and Lucas Giolito (left hamstring) should return from the IL to face the Angels Tuesday.

“All three guys are making good progress and we’re optimistic,” La Russa said.

Lynn would be matched up against former Sox All-Star Chris Sale.

Rodon, after being on the IL Aug. 8-26 with shoulder fatigue, came back and made two five-inning starts but missed making a start in Oakland because of recurring issues.

Lynn: Timing could have been worse

Lynn will give his knee a final test in a bullpen session Friday in Chicago.

The silver lining in Lynn’s knee acting up when it did — during the Field of Dreams game Aug. 12 — was the timing, Lynn said.

“If you were looking at where we’re at and we had to push through to make a playoff push … if it’s going to happen, it happened in the earlier part of September where you can take a break you need and be ready to go and ramp up at the end of September. I think it kind of worked out the best possible way it could have for where we’re at.”

After the weekend, the Sox begin a three-week home stretch into the postseason. Having Rodon, Giolito and Lynn at full strength “would be huge for us,” La Russa said.

“Our fingers are crossed that the plan goes ahead as scheduled,” La Russa said.

Jimenez could play Friday

La Russa said Eloy Jimenez, who would miss two and a half games after getting struck on the knee by a foul ball Tuesday, is still sore but is getting treatment and could return Friday.

La Russa didn’t have a timetable for outfielder Adam Engel’s return. Engel (shoulder, groin) is on a rehab assignment at Tripe-A Charlotte.

Still no Tim

Tim Anderson went on the 10-day injured list Sept. 1 (retroactive to Aug. 29) with what was called a left hamstring strain after he had missed 12 of the White Sox’ last 16 games.

Before the IL stint, the issue was described as “leg soreness” by Anderson and La Russa. Even now, Anderson can’t pinpoint the exact nature of the problem keeping him sidelined, with no clear timetable yet for his return. On the encouraging side, he started taking batting practice with the team in Oakland Wednesday the day he was eligible to come off the IL.

“I don’t know what it is, to be honest,” Anderson said. “It’s really just soreness.”

Anderson had taken four days off on a road trip to Toronto and Tampa Bay but the problem flared up again during a series against the Cubs Aug. 27-29.

“I was just sore every morning,” he said. “But I feel good now. Every day has been getting better. Being able to move around a little bit more the way that I want to.”

With three and a half weeks left in the regular season, that should be enough time to have the All-Star up and ready for the postseason.

“Fix the engine and we know what the ultimate goal is,” said Anderson, who has been taking batting practice with the team in Oakland. “We know what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get healthy and come back as quick as I can, but also be 100 percent and be smart about it.”

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