Lucas Giolito described it as a “random, weird, bizarre thing”.
“That doesn’t happen very often to baseball players,” the Chicago White Sox right-hander said Saturday morning.
Giolito left Friday’s opening day tee against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park after the fourth inning due to abdominal tightness on his left side. Manager Tony La Russa said an optimistic schedule would mean Giolito would miss two starts.
“The way it’s been described to me is that it’s lower abdominal fatigue,” La Russa said on Saturday. “He entered (Saturday) less sore. If it’s more serious, then you think longer. Optimistically, maybe a few starts. We will miss him.
Giolito, starting on opening day for the third straight year, said he felt a little adjustment in the fourth run.
“We have random little aches and pains while we’re throwing that you don’t take into account, so I immediately ignored it,” Giolito said. “The next throw, the same. Next step, same. I just didn’t want to go, so I had to go and say something.
He said he felt “pretty good” on Saturday.
“I don’t really notice too much pain or anything like that,” Giolito said. “It’s a good sign for hopefully a speedy recovery.”
Giolito said he had never dealt with anything like this before, calling it “super random, unfortunate”.
Giolito allowed one hit, struck out six and walked two in four scoreless innings. He came out after throwing 61 pitches.
“I thought it was going really well,” Giolito said. “In cold weather, for me, I was really trying to focus on making good competitive shots instead of trying to outplay myself. The sequencing was great to work with (wide receiver Yasmani Grandal). He made such a good job there. I felt we blended really well, I had all four heights working.
“So really a shame because I really wanted to kick off this year (finally), opening day, kind of set the tone. I feel like we were doing that. But it’s just a challenge more for us. But I’m very optimistic that it won’t affect my season too much and I can get the ball back and help the team win games again soon.
Giolito’s backhand is the second for a member of the team’s starting rotation.
Right-hander Lance Lynn, who finished third in the 2021 American League Cy Young Award voting, could miss the first eight weeks of the season after undergoing surgery on his right knee to repair a torn tendon. Lynn was injured April 2 in a Cactus League outing against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“Injuries can be very strange,” Giolito said. “I don’t necessarily think a shorter spring (because of the lockout) is what caused it or what caused Lance’s injury. Very just weird, random kind of stuff that can happen.
“I didn’t think I would ever be faced with such a strange injury. But here we are. So now the focus is on 100% attention to detail when it comes to this rehab stuff and try to get back there soon.
Asked about rotation options without Lynn and Giolito, La Russa said he was “just thinking about who is going to pitch after (Dylan) Cease (Saturday) and pitch after (Michael) Kopech (Sunday).”
Vince Velasquez will start Tuesday’s home opener against the Seattle Mariners, La Russa said.
“You know there’s a place in the rotation that needs to be filled,” La Russa said. “But there are games before that place comes around. You take immediacy first.
Giolito added: “Something like this is like the worst because I’ve worked so hard this offseason and I told you I want to be healthy all year. But that’s how the game sometimes takes place.
“I know the guys at the clubhouse are going to get me back 100 per cent and then I’ll be back there soon to get back to my job and help this team.”