With a group of reporters huddled around him Friday afternoon, Nico Hoerner was asked the question many Cubs fans have.
When are you coming back?
Hoerner didn’t place an exact timeline on his return from a left hamstring strain, which landed him on the 10-day IL May 26. But Friday was another step in the right direction.
The 24-year-old went through a full range of baseball activities, taking groundballs and batting practice, prior to the Cubs’ game against the Marlins. He also got on the field twice this week in New York.
“I feel pretty good moving through all the different parts of the game,” Hoerner said Friday. “It’s been good progress and I’ve been happy with it.”
Hoerner said he's continuing to get closer to running at full speed, which “probably will be the last thing to come” in the infielder's recovery, manager David Ross said.
“My legs are a big part of my game on both sides of the ball,” Hoerner said. “I'm not helping anybody if I'm not moving well out there. Get back to 100 percent and I’ll be more than ready.”
Hoerner acknowledged it’s been tough being sidelined this month. The Bay Area native missed the Cubs’ series in San Francisco. He called last weekend's Cubs-Cardinals series, with Wrigley Field at full capacity, "some of the best sporting events I've ever been to."
"I feel like I do a good job generally of enjoying the game and not taking it for granted," Hoerner said, "but more than ever when you come off an injury.
“Playing at this level is really special and especially in front of these people. That's why you look forward to being back."
Matt Duffy building up
Ross noted infielder Matt Duffy was scheduled to be evaluated Friday before increasing activity. He’s been out since May 25 with a low back strain.
Duffy began amping up his activities recently but slowed things down after aggravating his back, Ross said.
“He’s going to get checked out and start getting back to that process of building back up," Ross added.
Next steps for Adbert Alzolay, Trevor Williams
The Cubs are still determining the next step for Adbert Alzolay (blister), who threw a 40-pitch bullpen Thursday.
Trevor Williams (appendectomy) will throw another bullpen in three or four days. He told Ross he felt good Friday, after throwing a 25-pitch bullpen Thursday.
"Now it’s just a progression of getting the body back and his arm strength back," Ross said of Williams.