Cubs Injury Updates: Russell and Contreras Running, Lester Throwing

Much like the weather in Cincinnati Tuesday, the rain clouds hanging over the Cubs appear to have parted. Not only has the tarp been removed from the infield at Great American Ball Park, but we’re getting all kinds of good news on multiple injury fronts.

Addison Russell, who has been going through some light running drills for the past few days, was at it again. The fact that he’s participating in said drills on the rain-slicked outfield grass is a really good sign and would seem to signal the shortstop’s imminent return. While Javy Baez has been filling in admirably, Russell had been playing really well in the second half prior to going down with a foot strain.

As an ancillary benefit, the time off has undoubtedly been good for Russell’s shoulder. Though it doesn’t seem to have given him any trouble lately, a little rest is never a bad thing. Russell wasn’t the only one getting in a little running work, though:

Seeing the word “sprint,” with or without a qualifier, is a tremendously positive sign. An even better sign is actually seeing it in action.

It’s only a still shot, but you can tell from his posture that WillCo isn’t merely walking out there. As with Russell, being out in the grass in less than optimal conditions says a lot about where he’s at from a recovery standpoint. When we first got official word on the injury, we learned that it’d probably take about two weeks before Contreras would be pain-free, at which point the rehab process and timetable for his return could be adjusted.

We’re now now just shy of two weeks from the date of the injury, so it looks like things are going according to plan. Perhaps even a little better.

There was even more good news from Cincy as Jon Lester was throwing out on the field. I suppose we could say this is encouraging, but Theo Epstein clarified this weekend that Lester’s issue was more one of being worn out than it was any sort of acute injury. Still, seeing him playing catch is great.

Now the Cubs need to take care of business and continue building momentum so that when these guys all come back, they’re simply adding to it.

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