Left fielder Alex Gordon returned Tuesday night to the Royals' starting lineup after missing just one game because of a bruised knee suffered Sunday when hit by a pitch in Colorado.

"It's still swollen," he said. "So it's a little stiff, but there's no pain, and it doesn't restrict me from doing anything. Probably if I banged it again against something it might hurt, but it's fine."

Gordon showed no problem in moving around the outfield at U.S. Cellular Field, but he went hitless in five at-bats with four strikeouts in the Royals' 5-3 victory over the White Sox.

"I was swinging at a lot of pitches out of the zone," he said. "Maybe I just wasn't seeing it that great. If we had lost, I'd be really mad. But since we won, who cares?"

Gordon was hit directly on the bone of his left knee Sunday in the sixth inning by Rockies reliever Matt Belisle. Gordon left the game and could only walk stiff-legged afterward because of the swelling.

"I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it is," he said. "I could have played (Monday), but I came in, and the lineup was already made up. I think Ned (Yost) already had his mind made up that he was going to give me a day."

But only one day.

"He went through all of the agility drills," Yost said. "Guys aren't going to be perfect. Alex is a guy who, legitimately, should be an All-Star. He needs to be out there for us. That's why he's in there.

"Would I like to give him another day or two? Probably. But there's no need to. He's ready to go."