Even though an MRI on his ailing shoulder revealed no structural damage, Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks is going to miss most of the remainder of the 2022 season.
“It’ll be a little bit,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “It’s going to be a little bit of time to recover.”
In fact, Ross said Hendricks — who went on the 15-day injured list last week with a shoulder strain — is at least 2-3 weeks away from being allowed to play catch.
That means it’s all but impossible Hendricks returns before September, which appears to be the most optimistic scenario for the right-hander.
“We’ll continue to get feedback,” Ross added. “He’s going to take a bit.”
Whether Hendricks begins playing catch in 2-3 weeks, or his timeline is longer, he will still be several weeks away from returning to game action whenever he picks a ball up again.
Hendricks will then have to build up his throwing program, and with the long layoff will likely make at least one, if not multiple rehab starts.
Depending on how long he needs to build up, Hendricks could be back in time to make a handful of starts before the end of the season.
But he also missed two weeks in June due to the shoulder as the Cubs prescribed him rest to treat it, and it may be wise to be cautious now.
Hendricks said he didn't feel any discomfort in his four starts after that break, nor any during pregame warmups July 5 against the Brewers.
It popped back up during his first warmup pitch in the first inning that outing, he said, and lingered the rest of the way before he exited after three innings.
In his ninth season with the Cubs, Hendricks is 4-6 with a 4.80 ERA in 16 starts.