Kyle Hendricks' MRI shows no structural damage, but there's no timeline for the Chicago Cubs starter's return

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Chicago Cubs have obtained information about Kyle Hendrick’s right shoulder strain.

An MRI showed no structural damage and he will not need surgery, manager David Ross said Thursday. But the Cubs don’t know when Hendricks will return to the mound.

The team wants to get through the four-game series at Dodger Stadium, which opened Thursday night, and return home before they have a better idea of ​​Hendricks’ timeline.

“You knew he was dealing with something, so it’s unfortunate,” pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said Thursday. “But he is a great player. He was going to keep trying to go out there and polish it up for the guys. He knew where we were. But he is unlucky for Kyle.”

This is the second time Hendricks has dealt with a shoulder problem since early June, when he went 12 days between starts due to fatigue. That makes the Hendricks situation all the more worrisome. Asked if it would be unrealistic to expect Hendricks to need only a minimal stint on the disabled list, Hottovy responded, “I don’t know, to be honest.”

Hendricks did not travel with the Cubs to Los Angeles and stayed in Chicago for shoulder treatment. The bye in June allowed Hendricks to make five starts until a sore shoulder forced him out of Tuesday’s start at Milwaukee after three innings.

“I just know we tried the 15 days last time without putting it on the IL, we tried to give it to him thinking it was the right thing to do, and obviously it didn’t quite work (except) for a couple of weeks,” Hottovy said. “So we have to take that into consideration.

“Now we’re back in the same place, so how do we reassess moving forward what the next steps are to make sure it doesn’t happen again?”

The Cubs are being cautious as they hope to get a more complete picture of Hendricks’ injury. But if anything can be gleaned from left-hander Wade Miley’s situation in which he deals with an injury similar to the one that delayed his start to the season, Hendricks’ return could be measured in weeks, not days.

Miley, who has been out since June 11 with a left shoulder strain, played Thursday. She is still working on a release progression. Miley needs to get to a point where she feels strong and repeats good long-throw days, Hottovy said, before working on throwing a bullpen.

Chicago Tribune Sports

Chicago Tribune Sports

Week days

A daily sports newsletter delivered to your inbox for your morning commute.

However, the Cubs’ rotation should get a boost this weekend. Right-hander Marcus Stroman and left-hander Drew Smyly are expected to be activated from the disabled list and start against the Dodgers. Both pitched a typical pre-start bullpen Thursday, and if they feel good coming out of it, they’ll be back in the rotation. The Cubs have not yet announced who will start on Saturday and Sunday. Justin Steele would have been in line to start on Saturday, but he is in Chicago awaiting the birth of his child.

Hottovy is optimistic Smyly and Stroman will be ready to take on the Dodgers.

“Any time you get reinforcements, it’s always refreshing,” Hottovy said. “The last thing you want to do is push guys just because you feel like, oh my gosh, we need them and make decisions that aren’t in their best interest. But both guys feel great.”

The Cubs still have a potential arm to help them through the final two months of the season. Right-hander Adbert Alzolay has worked on long pitches and a 10-15-pitch touch-and-feel pitching session, though he’s still in the early stages of acceleration, Hottovy said. The hope remains that Alzolay will return sometime this season from his right shoulder strain.

The status of southpaw Brailyn Marquez remains unclear. Hottovy said he hasn’t gotten many reports on Marquez and the goal is to make him feel good. Marquez hasn’t pitched in a minor league game since 2019. He made his major league debut in September 2020 and didn’t pitch last season due to a shoulder injury and dealing with myocarditis after a bout with COVID.

Hottovy said Alzolay is “starting to trend in the right direction,” though the Cubs want to make sure he develops the right way and not rush him back.

“Any time we can get him to race this year, it’s going to be a plus for next year,” Hottovy said. “Because if you start to get too far into the season where he doesn’t have those tickets, now you’re talking about next year: what’s the workload going to be like? How long can we wait? So I think whatever we can get this year, even if it’s for the last month of this season and he throws 35-40 innings, that’s a bonus.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.