Cubs reliever Rowan Wick is nearing his return from the 60-day injured list, after a season-ending injury last year kept him out longer than expected.
“He’s close,” Cubs manager David Ross said Monday before opening a four-game series against the Brewers.
Wick (left oblique strain) was with the team in Chicago on Monday, Ross said, to “get checked out.” On a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa, Wick hasn’t allowed a run in his past four outings.
Ross didn’t give a more specific estimate for Wick’s return. But he’s expected to be activated within the next few days.
Wick last took the mound in a big-league game in mid-September. Setbacks this spring pushed back his timeline, as the Cubs searched for the root of his lingering ailment.
“It’s such a long road, and his stuff ticked up the last couple outings,” Ross said, comparing the progression to the end of spring training. “I think he’s about ready, and I’m sure he’ll slot right back into the back-end of the bullpen.”
Austin Romine progressing
Ross expects veteran backup catcher Austin Romine (left wrist sprain), will return before the end of this season, barring any setbacks.
Another player in the Cubs’ 60-day IL, Romine played the first game of his rehab stint with Triple-A Iowa on Sunday. He went 2-for-2 with a double.
“He’s in that spring training mode, trying to get back,” Ross said. “Had his rehab go well in Arizona, and now he’s off to playing in games. We’ll just try to build him up and get him ready to help us out.”