MESA, Ariz. - Cubs minor-leaguer Christian Villanueva broke his leg during Sunday's workout.
Villanueva jumped up for a high-chopper during infield drills and came down awkwardly on his right leg.
He was carted off the field and the Cubs reported after Sunday's workout that Villanueva had broken his fibula and may possibly need surgery.
The exact timetable is unknown, but Villanueva will need at least several months to recover.
"It's really unfortunate," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "This kid came in ready to go. Made a great impression on us at the end of last season. Very good infielder and he's starting to hit.
"Just a tough break - literally - for him. And he's such a good kid."
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Villanueva, 24, came to the Cubs system along with Kyle Hendricks in the Ryan Dempster deal in July 2012.
Villanueva represents third base depth for the Cubs and is generally regarded as a talented defender.
Coming up through the minor-league system, Villaneuva has been blocked by Kris Bryant and now with Bryant entrenched at third base in Chicago, Villanueva's future was open-ended before the injury.
However, the former No. 100 prospect in the game (Baseball America, 2012) put together a strong season at the plate last year, taking over at the hot corner in Triple-A Iowa after Bryant was promoted to the majors.
Villanueva hit 20 homers and drove in 95 runs in 2015, posting a .752 OPS.
"Last year, he came in and people were talking even more glowingly this year about the advances that he had made," Maddon said. "It's just unfortunate."