Outfielder Jason Heyward is unlikely to return to the Cubs this season due to a concussion, according to manager David Ross.
“In my mind, talking to him and starting to count down days of trying to get back, the word I'd probably use is 'doubtful,'” Ross said. “But we're definitely holding out hope.
“I think he just enjoys playing baseball and wants to be back with the guys.”
Heyward exited against the Giants on Sept. 11 following a collision with shortstop Brandon Crawford while sliding into third base. Crawford’s knee struck Heyward in the head.
The Cubs placed him on the seven-day concussion IL a day later and on the 10-day IL Tuesday.
Heyward went through exertion tests Tuesday and “came out OK,” Ross said. But given the seriousness of the injury and the trickiness of evaluating concussion symptoms, the Cubs are exercising utmost caution.
“It's such a hard injury to deal with because you can't see it,” Ross said. “There's no x-ray to take. There's no test that's really going to tell you you're concussed.”
Ross missed two months due to a concussion while playing for the Red Sox in 2013 and went on the seven-day concussion IL in both of his seasons with the Cubs (2015-16).
He’s been there for Heyward as a resource over the last few weeks.
“Listening to your body, how you feel, some of the symptoms that he's had,” Ross said, “I can definitely relate to and have talked to him multiple times about those.
“It's been really good conversations. I hope I’m being helpful.”
Even though it's impossible to know how much progress Heyward is making.
“I think the good news is he's feeling better on a daily basis, and that's what I hang on to," Ross said.