SAN DIEGO — Dexter Fowler said he had the big picture in mind when he opted not to play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
A first-time selection, the Cubs outfielder said Monday he didn’t want to risk re-aggravating his hamstring injury. On the disabled list since June 19, Fowler would have had to have been activated after Sunday’s first-half finale to be eligible for Tuesday’s exhibition at Petco Park.
Fowler plans to attend Thursday’s workout with the Cubs and run the bases. He’s unsure if he’d be activated for Friday’s series-opener against the Rangers but expects to return soon.
“Say I went out there 80 percent and there’s a ball in the gap and I’m running for it and the ball drops, I feel like I let my team down,” Fowler said. “I felt like I was being selfish. It’s a long season, and I want to be back and not have anything to worry about.
“Better safe than sorry. On Friday I might be able to play, you never know. But that unknown right there was a lot for me just to play one game.”
Fowler said he hasn’t had any set backs. He also continues to make progress and wants to get back and help the Cubs, who have struggled recently.
“I think I’m more anxious than everybody,” Fowler said. “Watch the games on TV and I’ve got that itch.”
Even though he won’t play in the All-Star Game, Fowler is on hand for the experience. He and the rest of his Cubs teammates arrived in San Diego on Sunday night. After a tough, slow offseason full of uncertainty, Fowler feels pretty good to have been selected for the Midsummer Classic.
“It’s great,” Fowler said. “Just how frustrating the offseason was and to come back and represent your team here, it was just something to prove and a milestone I got here and I’m eager to get back.”