For now at least, the Cubs and Addison Russell are ready to move on.
Social media lit up during the Cubs-Marlins series finale Wednesday night as Russell's estranged wife, Melisa, posted an Instagram photo and called him out for infidelity. The incident took a hard left turn when a commenter claiming to be Melisa's close friend accused Russell of domestic abuse.
The Cubs got out in front of the story and told Russell to stay home from the ballpark Thursday while the 23-year-old shortstop also released a statement calling "any allegation I have abused my wife is false and hurtful."
Russell was back at Wrigley Field Friday and though he was not in the starting lineup against the Colorado Rockies, he was active and available off the bench. The Cubs never ended up getting him in the game during a 5-3 loss.
There has been no indication Major League Baseball's investigation into the matter has concluded, but for now, the Cubs and Russell will try to get back to business as usual.
"We just talked to him about taking [Thursday] off," Joe Maddon said before Friday's game. "We were anticipating he would be back here today. We left it open but, 'yes, if you want to come back today if everything feels good.'
"I talked to him last night — he sounded really good. He sounded very clear, very directed and that's a good thing. He's back. We'll utilize him as normal... We're not gonna run away from the opportunity to play him.
"So again, it's just normal patterns. It's good to have him back. I had a great conversation and it seems to me that maybe mentally, he's in a little bit better place."
Russell was in the Cubs clubhouse Friday morning and met with the media some three hours before first pitch. He refused to discuss the off-field matter, preferring to focus on "baseball questions."
Russell refused to attribute his on-field struggles — .209 average, .626 OPS — to his issues away from the ballpark.
"There's periods of times where you're struggling, you're scuffling and sometimes you stink," Russell said. "I know that being young in the major leagues is gonna come with a lot of adversity. I'm here for a reason — it's because I'm good."
He said he has been working with Cubs hitting coach John Mallee on getting his foot down sooner and attempting to simplify things and get back to "ABC baseball."
Russell admitted spending a day away from the field was difficult given that the ballpark is his home and where he feels comfortable.
But he also seemed to welcome the opportunity to recharge mentally and get back on track in what has clearly been one of the toughest years of his life, both on and off the field.
"I think everything is a learning curve and you tackle those adversities day by day and you overcome those and it's only going to make you a better player, a better person at the end of the day," Russell said. "I'm happy that I got that day mentally to just relax.
"You just get back to your inner thoughts. What were you doing whenever you're successful is kinda like what I was thinking. You get back in those positive thoughts and I think positive things start happening."
Before the social media-induced storm Wednesday night, Russell had spent the last week-and-a-half as part of a timeshare with Javy Baez at shortstop.
The two young players were rotating starts at the position, freeing up Russell to do more work with Mallee off to the side while still getting regular game action to try to work through his struggles.
Russell was an All-Star in 2016 and is among the best defenders in baseball at any position (he's currently tied for second in baseball in Defensive Runs Saved behind only Colorado's Nolan Arenado). But he said he is all for sharing the shortstop job with Baez in an effort to help the 30-29 Cubs find their rhythm.
From the Cubs' perspective, Maddon just wants to treat Russell like normal.
"It's all I know how to do, man," Maddon said. "I really have a lot of respect for everybody that I work with. I had a good conversation with him. I don't think we should change anything about how we do interact with him right now."