A disquieting rumor circulating among the ubiquitous dram shops, dogstands and tee boxes of Greater Chicago holds that observers near the batting cage literally winced Sunday when first baseman Paul Konerko swung his mighty bat during a pregame warmup, and a discernible popping noise emanated from beneath the 6-foot-2 slugger's pinstriped tunic.
Only so much credence can be assigned to such MLB rumors, of course, but the Major League Baseball Information Highway being what it is, these and various other manifestations of gossip, hearsay and canard are unfortunately the sole conduit for information about potential injuries in the early going.
If true, this MLB rumor potentially portends of serious trouble for Konerko, who in all probability would be assigned to the disabled list for a minimum two weeks -- more likely four or more -- if the rib muscle he supposedly strained turns out to be significantly torn as would be the case in the instance of an audible popping noise.
In any event, an added incentive to sideline him would be the fact that Konerko has been dealing with an injured right thumb for six weeks, and both injuries might heal faster with rest.
However, no number of radiographs, CAT scans, sonograms or magnetic resonance images at this time will tell anyone anything any more about his rib muscles than will Konerko himself after his having the advantage of 48 hours rest, at the conclusion of which he will simply inform team physician Dr. Chuck Bushjoseph just exactly how he feels.
In other words whether he returns to play or not is this simple: If Konerko can swing the bat without pain or discomfort, he will be back; and if he can't, he will simply be forced to sit out for however many days are required, no more; no less.
Until then, only God knows the outcome.