Cubs reliever Rowan Wick, who's been sidelined since last September with an oblique injury, will begin a rehab assignment with Single-A South Bend on Saturday.
Wick is expected to pitch in South Bend's game Saturday night.
It's an encouraging sign for Wick, 28, who went on the injured list near the end of last season with a left oblique strain. The nagging injury lingered through the offseason and into spring training.
Wick began a throwing program in March and didn't pitch in any spring training games. He started the season on the 10-day injured list.
After experiencing soreness in the oblique between bullpen sessions, the Cubs transferred him to the 60-day IL in late April.
The right-hander emerged as a key late-inning reliever in recent season. He finished 2020 with a 3.12 ERA in 19 appearances, following an impressive debut season with the Cubs in 2019 (2.43 ERA, 31 appearances).
Brad Wieck undergoes consultation
Cubs lefty reliever Brad Wieck underwent a consultation Friday, manager David Ross said, after going on the IL last week with an irregular heartbeat.
Wieck underwent surgery in 2020 spring training to correct the issue. The Cubs shut him down last week, with no timetable for a return, to monitor and evaluate him.
"He’s still kind of in that wait-and-see phase," Ross said, "processing the information from the tests and the doctor and seeing what he’s going to decide — taking all the options in, all the information and getting with his family and making the right decision.”
Dillon Maples nears return
Right-handed reliever Dillon Maples is close to a return from the 10-day IL. He's been out since the middle of June with a right triceps strain.
Maples began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa June 26. He's made six appearances, allowing four runs on four hits and eight walks, striking out 10 in 8 2/3 innings.
"He’s had some good and bad outings," Ross said. "I haven’t seen his last couple outings, but I know right before the break I saw him throw. He had a good inning and a not so good inning.
"He’ll probably be back within the week, I’m sure.”