Struggling Thomas says post-game pain '10 out of 10'

Updated: July 22, 2005, 8:25 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The pain in his surgically repaired left ankle is so severe that Frank Thomas has trouble walking out of the clubhouse after games.

Frank Thomas
Designated Httr
Chicago White Sox
34 12 26 19 .315 .219

"It's a 10 right now, a real 10," Thomas said Friday, rating his pain level.

Struggling at the plate with a .219 average despite hitting 12 homers in 105 at-bats for the Chicago White Sox, Thomas was put back on the 15-day disabled list Friday.

"The pain kept getting worse and worse and the inflammation is really bad," Thomas said Friday. "It was affecting my play. I'm not helping the team at all anyway."

Thomas broke a bone in his left ankle July 6, 2004, and had surgery last October before beginning this season on the DL. He was activated May 30.

Rest and ice have been prescribed for the two-time MVP.

"When I leave here at night, it's hard to walk out of here. So it had gotten to the point I needed to take a break," Thomas said.

"I need to get semi-healthy so I can come back and do my thing. Right now I can't do my thing. I'm just wasting at-bats. I was facing a lefty and he was throwing 89 and I couldn't get to it and I knew something was wrong."

Thomas had 26 RBI in 34 games but wasn't able to play in the field. The White Sox recalled Ross Gload from Triple-A Charlotte to take his roster spot.

Gload, bothered by a sore shoulder, had been on a rehab assignment with the minor league team. He was taken off the DL and then optioned to Charlotte. Now, just that quickly, he's back and will give the White Sox a versatile left-handed hitter who can spell Paul Konerko at first base.

After being out nearly a year, Thomas showed quickly he could still hit homers. But he was not comfortable at the plate as the pain increased and his average plummeted.

"I appreciate the way he played for me when he was in pain because he was running the bases right. I appreciate what he did for the team. It's not easy when you go out there and you have a lot of pain," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said.

Thomas is a career .307 hitter with 448 home runs and 1,465 RBI.

Asked if could ever regain the form that once made him one of the game's top hitters, Thomas said: "Who knows?"

"It's very disappointing," Thomas said. "But this team is about winning and it's not about one player. Right now I think the level of play I was putting out there was not helping this team."

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press