Shortstop Uribe 'anxious' to rejoin White Sox

Updated: February 18, 2007, 8:54 AM ET
By Enrique Rojas | ESPNdeportes.com

MIAMI -- Chicago White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe plans to be at the team's spring training session Tuesday for Chicago's first full day of practice.

Juan Uribe
Uribe

"I'll fly on Monday afternoon to Tucson ... and I'll be early in the first practice," Uribe told ESPNdeportes.com from his home in San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic.

"I was working all winter with my physical form, but I'm anxious to train with the rest of the team. Working is the best therapy to forget all the problems," added Uribe, who's in the middle of a judicial case in his country.

Uribe, his brother Elpidio and a friend are accused of provoking a shooting in which two men were wounded Oct. 3 in Juan Baron, south of Santo Domingo.

Injured were Dominican Antonio Gonzalez and Italian Dandolin Alessandro. While Alessandro dropped charges, Gonzalez hired a lawyer and has sued the Uribe brothers and their friend.

In January, a judge ordered Uribe to show up in court the 15th and 30th of every month to prove he's not trying to flee justice and ordered the sides to prepare for a preliminary hearing. The judge's decision does not block Uribe from leaving the country but would make him return to the Dominican Republic twice a month from Tucson.

The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 21.

The judge will rule on a motion from the public ministry, appealing a previous decision to archive and drop charges against Uribe because of lack of proof against the ballplayer.

"In the practice, the penal court [dropped] completely the case because there is no proof against Uribe, but the other part appealed that decision," María Luisa Guzmán, Uribe's attorney, said.

"The good news of this is that this Monday we will know the results of an investigation about the bullet tests on the case, that will prove that the bullets found on the scene are not from Uribe's legal pistol," Guzmán said.

"I am innocent and I don't care if I have to go to the ultimate consecuences," Uribe said.

"I'll be at court Monday morning, fly to Arizona in the afternoon, and will train with the team on Tuesday. In case that the process extends after this week, I'll be back to sign the check-up book to comply with the judge's decision," Uribe added.

The 27-year-old Uribe batted .235 with 21 home runs and 71 RBIs last season.

Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.