Cubs’ Nico Hoerner not ready for rehab assignment

The Cubs had hoped to see the versatile Nico Hoerner at several spots during the second half, unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.

Hoerner has been on the 10-day injured list with a right oblique strain since July 29 and after feeling tension in the oblique, the team put his rehab assignment on pause.

The Cubs’ infielder traveled with the team to Minneapolis and continued to add baseball activity before Tuesday’s game as he attempts to get his rehab back on track. Hoerner is slashing .313/.388/.388 with 10 doubles, 14 RBI and 15 walks in 39 games this season.

Ross hoped Hoerner would be able to get out on a rehab assignment again a few weeks after his setback in Iowa, but it doesn’t look like that will happen anytime soon.

“More baseball activity today,” Ross said. “I don’t think he’s hit today. I need to confirm that, but I hope that he’s getting closer. I’m hoping yesterday’s off day went a long way in helping him recover. He’s moving around, itching to get back, but it’s just not responding the way he wants yet.”

Time is starting to run out for Hoerner and the Cubs and with four weeks remaining before the end of the season, Hoerner’s oblique is going to have to improve sooner rather than later if he expects to return before the end of the year.

Contreras begins rehab assignment

While Hoerner is still a little farther from making a return to the Cubs lineup anytime soon, catcher Willson Contreras’ return appears to be around the corner. Contreras started his rehab assignment on Tuesday at Triple-A Iowa.

Contreras has been on the 10-day injured list with a right knee sprain Aug. 14 and is slashing .226/.333/.417 with 17 homers and 40 RBIs.

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