Cubs News

Cubs feel they avoided big injury concern with Nico Hoerner’s hamstring

1 year agoAndy Martinez

Things can change, but Nico Hoerner and the Cubs feel like they received the best news possible, given the circumstances.

After exiting Monday night’s game in the 5th inning after rounding second base with left hamstring tightness, there was some outside fear it could have been a more serious injury.

“I don’t think anybody had serious red flags yesterday and was excited about that,” manager David Ross said. “But yet confirming that this morning was nice; it’s just very mild [strain]. And that this is something that we feel like is not an IL something he can deal with and manage.”

Hoerner is still not totally in the clear — he was going to go through a full gamut of testing Tuesday after speaking with reporters, but he had some imaging done that revealed that mild strain and felt confident in his ability to recover. He is listed as day-to-day.

“I’ve had injuries before and it did not feel like, ‘Oh, wow, I’m injured type of thing,” Hoerner said.

He just knew in the moment it was the smart thing to not push it. But it still didn’t stop him from being upset with the moment.

“Frustrated not to score on the play,” Hoerner said. “Kinda saw it ricochet and chuck up short. I was expecting to score.”

Still, the Cubs know it’s early enough in the year that they can play it safe with Hoerner.

“It just didn’t make any sense to test that in my mind,” Ross said. “He’s a competitor and he wanted to stay in and then after you talk to him after the game I think he thought it was a really smart idea just to not push anything and confirm everything with the history he’s had.”

In his place, the Cubs turned to Christopher Morel to start at second base on Tuesday. He was 2-for-4 with a game-tying home run in the 6th inning. The Cubs also have Nick Madrigal who can play at the position if needed, although they’ve grown comfortable with him at third and he’s played well at the hot corner.

“We’ve got plenty of depth,” Ross said. “Nick’s going to be comfortable either place. For me, I feel like, in talking to [bench coach] Andy [Green] and [major league coach Jonathan] Mota, I think Morel’s natural position is a little bit more up the middle. Feels really clean.”

Other injury updates

– Yan Gomes continued baseball activities on Tuesday. He was eligible to come off the IL on Tuesday, but Ross indicated that he “is close” to returning.

– Kyle Hendricks pitched 5 shutout innings in a rehab start with the Iowa Cubs. He allowed 2 hits and struck out 4 while throwing 61 pitches in the I-Cubs’ 6-1 win.

– Codi Heuer pitched 0.2 innings and struck out 2 while walking 1 in relief of Hendricks on his rehab assignment. He threw 16 pitches in his return from Tommy John surgery.

– Lefty reliever Brandon Hughes is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Wednesday.

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