White Sox slugger Jiménez out 5-6 months for ruptured tendon

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Chicago White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez reaches up to make a catch on a fly ball hit by Cincinnati Reds' Tyler Naquin during the second inning of a spring training baseball game Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Chicago White Sox slugger Eloy Jiménez is expected to be sidelined for five to six months after rupturing his left pectoral tendon trying to make a play in the outfield during an exhibition game.

Jiménez needs surgery to repair the injury, putting his season in jeopardy. General manager Rick Hahn said the team will know more when he begins the rehab process.

“Obviously a difficult loss for us, important part of our offense, and one that is a bit of a shock to the system,” Hahn said Thursday on a video conference call, a day after Jiménez was hurt.

“At the same time, if there was one area of this team that perhaps could withstand a significant blow, it would arguably be on the offensive side of things," he said.

Even before the diagnosis, the injury immediately led to another round of questions about whether Jiménez might be better suited for designated hitter than left field — where he has gotten hurt a couple times since his big league debut in 2019.

“Our biggest concern is Eloy. He’s the guy who’s hurt. He’s the guy that’s got to go through the rehab,” manager Tony La Russa said.

“As a team, you look at what you have, not what you don’t have. We don’t have him, but we have other guys. It’s not going to be an open spot. Somebody’s going to play there.”

Chicago is looking for a deep postseason run after it made the playoffs last year for first time since 2008. With Tim Anderson, AL MVP José Abreu and Yoán Moncada, it has one of the most potent lineups in baseball, but Jiménez's prolonged absence leaves the team without one of its most dangerous hitters.