Cubs Injury Update: Contreras Rejoins Team Saturday, Russell Jogging, Arrieta Resting

Willson Contreras went 1-for-2 with two walks (one intentional) as the DH for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in their final game of 2017, a seven-inning loss to the Down East Wood Ducks (the game and series were shortened due to Hurricane Irma). He singled on a 3-1 pitch in his first at bat, then popped out to second for the last out of the game.

Contreras will now head back to Chicago to rejoin the Cubs, though he won’t be activated right away. Instead, he’ll be reevaluated to see what the best course of action is. The fact that he was behind the plate for a few innings Thursday and was then back in there batting the next day says good things about his health. So did the catcher, literally, prior to Friday’s game.

“It was awesome, it was awesome,” Contreras told Myrtle Beach Pelicans broadcaster Scott Kornberg about getting back out on the field. “That feels good after a month without playing baseball. I felt comfortable with my leg, didn’t have any issues during the game and I got to get on base and run the bases. It feels good and I can’t wait to get back on the field in Chicago.

“(I want to) keep pushing the team to win every single game. Playing game by game, day by day, that’s the most important thing. You have to win tonight before you start thinking about tomorrow.”

With the Cubs having Monday off, I could see them waiting until Tuesday to get WillCo back in the action. Then again, he could be activated Sunday and would then get a little extra rest before giving it a go again.

In other injury news, Addison Russell was doing a little jogging before the game Friday, which is bigger news than it might seem on the surface. The Cubs had been prepping as though their shortstop might not be back at all this season and both Joe Maddon and Anthony Rizzo had expressed no optimism about his return. Foot injuries are total bastards, so having Russell moving at a pace faster than a limping shuffle is good.

Not much on the Arrieta front, but it’s not as if he can really do anything other than chill for the time being. All in all, a pretty good slate of updates from the MASH unit. The Cubs should be getting Contreras back this weekend, Arrieta could be back in a week or so, and Russell may yet fulfill the three-week timeframe set forth when he was reevaluated last week.

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