Bo Jackson's agent said yesterday that hip-replacement surgery is among the options being considered, but no course of medical treatment had been decided on for the hobbling designated hitter.
"There's one thing that's an absolute certainty, that Bo will remain with the White Sox and continue to play baseball," agent Arn Tellem said from Los Angeles. "The White Sox and Bo are looking for ways to preserve a long-term relationship.
"The only thing ruled out is retirement. Not playing is not an issue and has never been considered."
Jackson, 29, has not run well in two exhibition games this spring, and his contract status must be decided in a week. The White Sox have until Sunday to exercise an option for $910,000, and, to increase the room to maneuver, the team placed him on waivers last Wednesday, baseball officials said.
Hip replacement surgery is the most drastic of the options.
* BRAVES: Lonnie Smith knows his World Series running blunder probably cost the Atlanta Braves the title. He's had all winter to think about it, and now he's willing to take the blame.
"Fair or unfair, people still talk about it, and many feel that's the reason we didn't win," Smith said. "The whole world was watching that game."
With Game 7 scoreless in the eighth inning, Smith reached on an infield single. Terry Pendleton doubled to the left-center field wall and Smith, running on a delayed steal, stopped at second. He only made it to third, and the Braves failed to score when Ron Gant bounced out and Sid Bream hit into an inning-ending double play after an intentional walk.
"I had the steal sign, but thought I had a better chance with a delayed steal," Smith said. "I took off running and didn't look toward the plate. I heard the crack of the bat, saw [Chuck] Knoblauch's fake and Dan Gladden running into the alley. I slowed down at second, but didn't see the ball. I then saw Gladden and [Kirby] Puckett converging seconds before the ball hit the wall.
* RED SOX: Frank Viola received a rude welcome back to the American League from the Tigers.
Viola, signed by Boston for $13.9 million over three years, pitched the first three innings of yesterday's 7-2 loss and allowed two runs and two hits in two innings.
Injuries forced third baseman Wade Boggs and designated hitter Jack Clark to stay behind when Boston played the Tigers.
Boggs, who was 1-for-2 in Boston's 9-7 win over Detroit in their exhibition opener Saturday, was sidelined by a slight groin strain, said manager Butch Hobson.
Hobson said that Clark, 2-for-3 with an RBI Saturday, was "day-to-day" because of a slight hip strain.
* PIRATES: Outfielder Andy Van Slyke was out of the lineup because of a lower back strain and missed Pittsburgh's 7-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox.
* ROYALS: Pitcher Tom Gordon left his start against Cincinnati after one inning with pain in his inner right elbow, although the team does not believe the injury is too serious.
* PHILLIES: Pitcher Ken Howell will undergo reconstructive surgery on April 1 to tighten his shoulder muscles and will be out
for at least a year, the team said.