Cubs injury updates: Nico Hoerner nearing return from ankle injury

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Hoerner nearing return, Frazier eager to rejoin Cubs originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Nico Hoerner’s return from a freak ankle injury appears to be right around the corner.

Hoerner ran the bases before the Cubs game against the Diamondbacks on Saturday, the first time he’s done so since going on the injured list with a sprained right ankle.

“He looked pretty good to me,” manager David Ross said.” Looked like he was about 80 percent, 80, 85 percent.

“The good news is he’s getting closer to hopefully getting back on the field for us.”

Hoerner, who landed on the IL Sunday, sprained his ankle May 11 against the Padres in a collision with umpire Dan Iassogna. The Cubs shortstop was lining up for a relay throw from center field when the collision occurred.

Not only was Hoerner carrying the bulk of work at shortstop before his injury, but he’s been one of the Cubs’ most dependable bats this season, hitting .271 in 29 games.

Andrelton Simmons came off the IL when Hoerner went on it. The Cubs signed the four-time Gold Glove winner over the offseason to bolster their infield defense and offer Ross more mix-and-match potential with his infield.

Here’s the latest updates on other injured Cubs players.

Clint Frazier (appendectomy)

May 21: Clint Frazier will continue his rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Saturday but seems eager to rejoin the Cubs. He told Tommy Birch of the Des Moines Register he’s scheduled to check out of his Iowa hotel room on Monday.

“Frazier told me on the bench in Arizona he was ready to pinch hit,” said Ross with a chuckle when a reporter told him the hotel anecdote.

“The guy came in after surgery, saw all the guys in here, could barely walk around and told me he would have a bat ready with batting gloves on if I needed him. It’s just a mindset. Who doesn’t love that mindset? That’s great.”

While Ross appreciates that mindset, Frazier likely will play a few more games with Iowa. He’s only played three games entering Saturday, going 3-for-11, including 2-for-4 Friday with a pair of doubles.

Ross wasn’t ready to declare a timetable for Frazier’s return, but he said “maybe after” the Cubs’ upcoming four-game series in Cincinnati. They have an off day Friday.

“If he checks out of his hotel, hopefully his car has a bed in the back,” Ross said with a laugh. “We’ll call him up when we feel like he’s ready and he needs to be ready.”

Nick Madrigal (low back)

May 19: Nick Madrigal (low back) continues to rehab but there's no current timeline from his return, the Cubs said.

Madrigal went on the IL May 10 with the back issue. He felt discomfort there the day prior, going 0-for-4 in a Cubs win over the Padres.

Sean Newcomb (ankle)

May 21: Sean Newcomb threw a 40-pitch bullpen in recent days. The Cubs will wait to see how he recovers before determining his next steps.

Newcomb went on the IL on May 11 with a left ankle sprain he sustained in the outfield during pregame batting practice.

Newcomb has made three appearances for the Cubs since they claimed him off waivers from the Braves late last month. He's allowed three runs (all earned) in 3 1/3 innings — all coming in a 1 1/3-inning outing April 29 against the Brewers.

He last pitched in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Dodgers this month, striking out one in a scoreless inning.

David Bote (left shoulder)

May 21: David Bote will continue his rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Saturday. He's 1-for-6 through two games with Iowa as he builds closer to a return from offseason shoulder injury.

Bote is eligible to come off the 60-day IL June 6.

Bote dislocated his left shoulder last May and missed two months.

Big-league players may spend a maximum of 20 days on a rehab assignment.

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