KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Lucas Giolito felt “a little off” the morning after his May 10 start for the Chicago White Sox.
“I immediately talked to (head athletic trainer) James (Kruk) and got tested, and that first rapid test showed positive (for COVID-19),” Giolito said Tuesday. “Then we did the PCR and it came back the next day. That was that.”
The Sox placed Giolito on the COVID-19-related injured list Friday. He’s expected to return Wednesday and pitch against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
“It was (my) second time having it,” Giolito said. “I had it in the offseason and this time was a little bit rougher the first couple of days. But I recovered very quickly. Excited to be back. It was not fun being away from the team and having to watch all the games on TV.
“I had body aches and stuff in the mornings and at night. It was two days of pretty bad. During the daytime, when we got meds in me, I was pretty good. But it was important to rest and recuperate. I’m glad to be feeling 100% now and back.”
Giolito’s return means the Sox will make slight adjustments to the rotation. Vince Velasquez is in line to start Thursday’s series finale with Dallas Keuchel and Michael Kopech scheduled for the first two games against the Yankees in New York. Sunday’s starter will be either Johnny Cueto or Dylan Cease.
Giolito said he was able to stay in shape “as best as I can.”
“Routine was thrown off a little bit,” he said. “But I was able to do some good work and I had some equipment at home, quarantine-style. Feeling good. It’s good to be back here and get a nice day of being outside.”
Sox manager Tony La Russa said Giolito could have pitched one of Tuesday’s doubleheader games, but “we thought it was a real push. Better off having him pitch (Wednesday).”
Giolito is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA in five starts this season. He was on the IL from April 9-24 with a left abdominal strain that he suffered on opening day.
The Sox will be a step closer to a healthy pitching staff when Giolito takes the mound. Lance Lynn is working his way back after undergoing right knee surgery to repair a torn tendon during spring training.
Giolito enjoyed watching Cueto pitch six shutout innings in his Sox debut Monday.
“He’s come out of the gate tremendously already in one game,” Giolito said. “I’m excited to get to know him better and have him part of the rotation. We never know when like something like this could happen, like COVID … or the injuries happen. Having that depth is super important.
“Bringing in a player like Cueto — who has a wealth of experience, been on winning teams — bringing that knowledge and that experience to the table to help us along with his great pitching ability (is) always welcomed.”