Thome targets a Thursday return

Jim Thome hopes to be back in the White Sox starting lineup Thursday night at home against the Yankees and southpaw Andy Pettitte after missing the Minnesota series due to tightness in his lower back.

It’s a problem that has plagued the prolific slugger on a few occasions during his four-year tenure with the White Sox.

“Unfortunately, you know, this had to happen now,” Thome said. “Luckily, (White Sox athletic trainer) Hermie (Schneider) and I got on top of it right away and banged it out of there.”

Thome is batting .250 with 17 home runs and 59 RBIs. But at this point of the 2009 campaign, with the White Sox fighting for a playoff berth, Thome isn’t worried about individual numbers.

“It’s all about winning, that’s the bottom line,” Thome said. “You always want to have a nice year and you always want to do well, but ultimately you get into this time of year and you throw all that aside.

“You see new guys come in and it shows you this time of year is ultimately about winning. That’s the thing that frustrates me. You work so hard, but sometimes this stuff is out of your control. So, you do the best you can to get it out and work hard to get back.”

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