KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Chris Sale will return to the Chicago White Sox rotation Thursday.
But closer Matt Lindstrom will likely not return before late August with surgery scheduled.
Sale, an American League All-Star pitcher the past two seasons, will come off the disabled list Thursday and start against the New York Yankees.
Lindstrom, who limped off the field in the ninth inning Monday with a left ankle injury, has a torn sheath protecting the outer tendon. He will undergo surgery Friday with the recovery time projected around three months.
Lindstrom had the White Sox first six saves of the season before the injury. Manager Robin Ventura said right-hander Ronald Belisario, who logged a save Tuesday, would be his closer.
Sale went on the disabled list April 22 with a flexor strain in his left arm. He allowed one run and one hit in seven innings against Boston on April 17 in his previous start, throwing a career-high 127 pitches and reported he was sore the next day.
''I'm excited,'' Sale said. ''It's been a long time. It's something I've been looking forward to. It's been longer than I expected. I think it was just our taking time and not rushing back before the rehab process (was over), to come back at 100 percent.''
Sale made a 68-pitch rehab start, striking out 11 in four scoreless innings with Triple-A Charlotte on Friday. He threw a bullpen session Tuesday at Kansas City before a game against the Royals with no problems.
Sale, who has won 28 games the past two years, is 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA in four starts this season.
''It's big,'' Ventura said having Sale back. ''A guy like him you get a pretty good feeling that you're going to win. He's proven that. With everything he's gone through, it feels good.''
The White Sox went into their game Wednesday against the Royals at 23-24 despite losing Sale for more than a month and with major league home run leader Jose Abreu and Lindstrom on the disabled list with ankle injuries.
''We're happy with the way they're competing,'' Ventura said. ''The schedule doesn't stop. You miss the guys that are out, but you can't be thinking about that.''