CHICAGO -- He was supposed to miss the rest of the season, but Avisail Garcia is back in the Chicago White Sox lineup and he's already providing a noticeable presence.
After Garcia tore the labrum in his left shoulder in April, he underwent surgery to repair it. The White Sox were told it might take up to six months to fully recover, but Garcia didn't let it sink his spirits.
He got to work on his rehab and sped things up to the point where he's fully healthy with six weeks left in the season.
"I always believed that," said Garcia, who went 1-for-3 with a double Sunday in the White Sox's 7-5 win against the Toronto Blue Jays. "I (felt) that way in July, so I've been working hard every day, running, stretching exercises. It's always good to come back and play."
The White Sox feel the same after seeing the early returns. After hitting .340 in 50 at-bats during his injury-rehab stint at Triple-A Charlotte, Garcia went 2-for-4 on Saturday, with a double and RBI, in his first game back.
The 6-foot-4, 240-pound right fielder has also kept his eye-opening speed for such a large body, showing it right away on his double to right field. He was unsure whether the ball was going to stay fair, so his first few steps down the first-base line were slow trots until he saw the ball land fair. He turned on the jets and beat the throw comfortably.
"He was hustling all over the place," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You can see the talent that he has, being big and strong, and hitting balls off the fence. Even though that ball was out there and he wasn't really out of the box, he still turns it into a double. So, you can see his speed and it's unique. It's unique to be that big and that fast."
Thus far, Garcia's power numbers haven't reflected his size or what he's shown in batting practice session. All in good time, according to Ventura.
"He has power," Ventura said. "The consistency with it will be the big thing. You're looking at guys with his tools, he can do a lot of different things in the game. It's not just power. He will develop more power, but with his speed, I think that's where his average will also pick up -- because he can beat stuff out, he can take a ball the other way. He's unique that way with the tool set he has."