Struggling Shields vows to keep pitching despite back pain

September 6, 2016
Chicago White Sox pitcher James Shields reacts after giving up a walk to Minnesota Twins' Trevor Plouffe in the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

CHICAGO (AP) — White Sox right-hander James Shields has vowed to stay in the rotation despite back pain and is asking for patience from fans amid the worst season of his career.

A day after Chicago manager Robin Ventura suggested Shields could be shut down, the right-hander says a doctor’s visit produced good news.

Shields said Tuesday he’s confident he’ll start Saturday against his former team, Kansas City.

Shields struggled early in the season with San Diego, even allowing hefty New York Mets pitcher Barolo Colon’s first home run in May. He faced public criticism from Padres executive chairman Ron Fowler, then was dealt to the White Sox on June 5.

Besides a six-start stretch in July when he had 1.71 ERA, Shields has been hit hard. He’s 3-10 with a 7.50 ERA in 17 starts with Chicago. He said he’s had off-and-on back pain.