Sammy Sosa is not sure when he can return to the Cubs after taking his first swings in the batting cage yesterday since injuring his back while sneezing.

The slugger is on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained ligament in his lower back, an ailment brought on by two violent sneezes May 16 in San Diego.

After working out before Saturday's game, Sosa said he is still experiencing pain in his back at the end of his swing. He does not have a definite timetable for his return and does not plan to rush.

"I don't know when I will come back," said Sosa, who is batting .291 with 10 homers and 24 RBI. He is on the DL for the fifth time in his 16-year career.

"I don't want to go back here sooner and then be hurt again -- it's going to be bad. I rather wait and get ready with everything I have and come back because this is a delicate situation," he said.

* M. ORDONEZ SURGERY: White Sox slugger Magglio Ordonez had arthroscopic surgery on torn cartilage in his left knee and is expected to be out four to seven weeks.

"Everything looks fine," head trainer Herm Schneider said before the White Sox played the Mariners. "He walked in and walked out."

-- From News Services