CHICAGO (AP) -- The pitching-starved Chicago White Sox activated right-handed pitcher Jake Peavy from the disabled list Friday and could be about a week away from getting right-handed set-up man Jesse Crain back as well.
Peavy (6-4, 4.30) returns to the starting rotation Saturday against lefty Paul Maholm (9-8, 3.98) and the Atlanta Braves at U.S. Cellular Field. Peavy, 32, has been sidelined since June 5 with a fracture of the left fourth anterior rib. He suffered the injury June 4 at Seattle, forced to leave after just over two innings into his start in that game.
"As long as his rib is doing fine, he can stay in there," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Saturday's start. "If it was something with an elbow or shoulder or something like that, you'd be a little more sensitive to him being out here in this heat and doing things. For Peav, you just let him go."
Peavy expects to be limited to around 100 pitches Saturday.
"I don't think you're going to see me throw 120 pitches tomorrow," he said. "I threw about 85 in the rehab start in Alabama. I did get a little tired in that start, but it's something I've addressed with the skipper and we'll monitor closely."
Peavy pitched in a minor league rehab start on July 14 at Huntsville, Ala., allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks in five innings of work.
Before he was sidelined, Peavy had allowed 32 earned runs with 66 strikeouts in 11 starts (67 total innings of work).
"I can't tell you how excited I feel," he said before Friday's game vs. Atlanta. "I feel like a little kid getting turned back loose on the playground after having a couple of broken legs or something."
If he does well Saturday, Peavy could wind up being part of trade talk fodder, even though he says he hasn't heard of his name mentioned in any potential deals.
"I have zero say in it, so at the end of the day, I'm not going to worry about it because it's not going to do me any good to speculate on what I hear," Peavy said. "That does nothing but take your mind and focus away from where it should be, and that's here right now."
But it's clear Peavy, who bypassed free agency at the end of last season and chose to re-sign and remain with the White Sox, wants to stay in Chicago.
"I love it (here)," he said. "There's nowhere that I would rather play than in Chicago. I thought that we made that very clear this winter.
"I do want to win, that's something at this point and time in my career, that's the only interest I have in playing this game, to be a champion. Do I think it can happen here? Absolutely. This year we put ourselves in quite a bind and we just have to be a brick in those guys decision if I'm a part of it going forward or maybe try to bring a player or two in a trade, so we'll see."
Crain, meanwhile, had been one of the top players in the majors prior to being placed on the DL on July 3 with a strained right shoulder. It's the same injury that sidelined him a year ago, as well.
"I felt better today than I did all last week, so hopefully it's a step forward," Crain said. "If I had a number I would tell you, but I'm still taking it day by day. Hopefully tomorrow it feels a little better and a little better after that. My goal is to be out there like a week from today, but we'll see."
Crain, who was voted to the American League All-Star Game but was unable to play due to his injury, has a 0.74 ERA with 46 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings over 38 appearances.
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