Cubs' Trevor Williams, Justin Steele to begin rehab assignments

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Injured Cubs begin rehab assignments this weekend originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

As the Cubs near the end of a gauntlet June schedule, three pitchers on the injured list are scheduled to begin rehab assignments in the coming days.

Dillon Maples (Saturday) and Justin Steele and Trevor Williams (Sunday) each will pitch for Triple-A Iowa this weekend.

There's no firm timeline for the pitchers' returns, especially Williams, who's been sidelined since May 31 with an appendectomy.

"He's got to build back up to be able to pitch big-league innings," manager David Ross said Friday. "I don’t know how long that's going to take. That’s pitch and assess and continue to build up.

"His body's in a good place, like a spring training type build up to get ready to come back and start potentially."

Rotation depth has been an issue for the Cubs in the last month with Williams and Adbert Alzolay each missing time due to injuries. Alzolay missed about two weeks with a blister, returning last weekend.

Ross said this week the plan is for Steele, out since May 21 with a right hamstring strain, to be stretched out for more than one inning. The lefty impressed in 11 relief outings before going down, posting a 2.03 ERA.

Maples turned in a 1.99 ERA in 18 relief appearances before going on the IL June 16 with a right triceps strain.

Nico Hoerner (left hamstring strain) and David Bote (dislocated left shoulder) are also progressing, and the latter could begin a rehab assignment early next week. The Cubs are taking things day by day with Hoerner.

Gordon Wittenmyer contributed to this report from Los Angeles.

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