Cubs News

While Dansby Swanson progresses ‘slowly,’ Nick Madrigal ahead of schedule for Cubs

10 months agoTony Andracki

The Cubs are inching closer to the return of a pair of key infielders.

Dansby Swanson and Nick Madrigal both took batting practice and did baseball activities on the field Monday afternoon before the Cubs’ series opener with the Washington Nationals at Wrigley Field.

Both players got hurt during the team’s series in Milwaukee the week before the All-Star Break. They’re eligible to return from the IL whenever they are ready and for Madrigal, that could be in the coming days.

He suffered a moderate hamstring strain and went on the IL on July 4.

“I would say he’s ahead of schedule,” David Ross said Monday. “He feels great.”

The Cubs will have Madrigal run the bases this week to test out the hamstring.

“If all that goes well, we’ll get him off on a rehab assignment and hopefully the timing’s there and he won’t be gone long,” Ross said.

The injury came at a bad time for Madrigal. He was optioned to Triple-A Iowa in late May but returned to the big leagues on June 9 and was on a tear before the hamstring strain.

In 19 games before the injury, Madrigal was hitting .328/.409/.466 (.875 OPS) and playing solid defense at third base.

Meanwhile, Swanson has been dealing with a bone bruise in his left heel suffered on July 5.

“Better today,” Ross said before Monday’s game. “I saw him run today. He still feels it. Playing with some orthotics and some things in the foot. Progressing slowly just like you’d expect with a bruise. Still feels it with some things.

“I think slowing down is still giving him some trouble and he hasn’t hit a base or anything. He’s just running straight. He still feels it but pushing the envelope as much as he possibly can so we don’t have any setbacks.”

Swanson paces Cubs position players in WAR (2.9) and earned a spot on the All-Star team before the heel injury cropped up. He is hitting .258 with a .753 OPS, 10 homers and 36 RBI this season.

He only missed 1 game over the past 3 seasons.

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