Cubs second baseman Nico Hoerner is nearing a rehab assignment, after an intense workout on the base paths and in the field in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Could he join the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate for that purpose as soon as this weekend?
“We’ll have to listen to his body,” Cubs manager David Ross said before the Cubs’ game against the Dodgers on Thursday. “We’ll back off (his progression) if he’s sore tomorrow in his lower half from running hard on the bases. So, putting the weekend on it would be a misstep by me.”
Hoerner has been out with a hamstring strain since late May. He said Thursday was his second day on the bases, and the original plan included three or four days on the bases.
“But that’s all subject to change and going by feel,” he said, adding that the Cubs don’t have a specific date circled for his return.
Asked how many rehab games he’d need to feel comfortable returning, Hoerner also avoided locking in a definitive number. He did, however, point to Jason Heyward and Jake Marisnick’s two-game rehab assignments as they also worked back from hamstring strains earlier this season.
“It was a four- to six-week injury,” Hoerner said of his original prognosis, “and four weeks was Tuesday. So, I think we're right on pace with where we want to be.”
In other injury news, Cubs pitchers Justin Steele (hamstring strain) and Trevor Williams (appendectomy) threw bullpens Thursday. Steele is expected to make his first rehab start Saturday or Sunday.
Infielder David Bote (dislocated left shoulder) also went through a vigorous workout Thursday.
“He was soaking wet too today,” Ross said.
Gordon Wittenmyer contributed to the reporting of this story from Los Angeles.