MRI reveals Anthony Rizzo has lateral right ankle sprain, will require walking boot for 5-7 days

Tim Stebbins
NBC Sports Chicago

The Cubs will be without their star first baseman for their last four home games in 2019, at the least.

An MRI revealed that first baseman Anthony Rizzo has a lateral right ankle sprain, the Cubs announced Monday. Although the team is calling it a "moderate" sprain, Rizzo will be in a walking boot for the next 5-7 days before the Cubs establish a timeline for his return.

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Rizzo, who exited Sunday's game against the Pirates in the third inning, said he isn't ruling out a return this season, though the Cubs will know more about his status in the near future.

In the short-term, Rizzo will definitely miss this weekend's four-game series against the Cardinals, which will have huge implications on the Cubs' playoff positioning. Entering Monday's game against the Reds, the Cubs sit just two games back of St. Louis for first place in the NL Central and 1.5 games behind the Nationals for the NL's top Wild Card spot.

The Cardinals and Nationals open a three-game set on Monday in St. Louis.

Rizzo's injury comes just days after the Cubs moved him to the leadoff spot. Although they were playing the sub-.500 Padres and Pirates, the Cubs went 4-0 with Rizzo at the top of the lineup, scoring a whopping 47 runs in three games against Pittsburgh. 

If he is unable to return this season, Rizzo will finish with a .289/.404/.516 line (.920 OPS), with 26 home runs and 93 RBIs. The Cubs now find themselves without shortstop Javier Báez (thumb - out for regular season), infielder Addison Russell (concussion IL) and closer Craig Kimbrel (elbow), in addition to Rizzo. However, Russell took batting practice Monday and Kimbrel will throw a simulated game on Tuesday, positive steps in their respective recoveries.

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MRI reveals Anthony Rizzo has lateral right ankle sprain, will require walking boot for 5-7 days originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

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