8/11 Ramirez, Zambrano & injury updates
Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez received a cortisone shot in his left shoulder Tuesday, and was not expected back in the lineup until Thursday at the earliest. Ramirez said he’ll have to play in pain the rest of the season.
“I’m sure it’s going to cause him some discomfort from time to time and hopefully, he can play through it,” Lou Piniella said.
Ramirez said he feels some pain whenever he swings and misses, and the discomfort is more intense at the end of his swing.
“When I get a line drive over my head [it hurts] but that’s not going to happen too often,” he said. “Basically, when I finish my swing, I finish high with my left shoulder and that’s a tough thing.”
The cortisone shot is intended to calm the inflammation down in his shoulder. He was out for two months with a dislocated shoulder. Did he come back too soon?
“I don’t know,” Ramirez said. “That’s a good question. They didn’t rush me. I just wanted to come back and play. We were in the pennant race and I wanted to come back. I only went down for three games rehab. I don’t think [I was rushed back] — I felt pretty good two weeks ago and all of a sudden it started to hurt. It happens.”
* Carlos Zambrano, on the DL because of back spasms, was doing his exercises and getting treatment. When the Cubs get the OK, Zambrano will resume baseball activities.
“I don’t expect it to be longer than two weeks,” Piniella said of Zambrano’s time on the DL. “I think in two weeks he’ll be able to resume pitching.”
Zambrano appeared ready to go Friday in Colorado. He took batting practice before the ballgame and didn’t start to feel any discomfort until he began warming up. The Cubs may try to get the right-hander to ease up on his batting practice sessions.
“That’s something we’re going to have to watch,” Piniella said.
* Pitcher Tom Gorzelanny, hit on the right foot by a ball in Colorado, was receiving treatment Tuesday but should be able to pitch Saturday.
* Ted Lilly will make a rehab start Wednesday for Class A Peoria. He’ll be on a 60-70 pitch count, and if all goes well, will return to the rotation next Monday in San Diego.
“It’ll be nice to play baseball,” Lilly said.
* The injury riddled Cubs have a tough stretch ahead, beginning with the defending World Champion Phillies. They’re missing two pitchers from the starting rotation in Lilly and Zambrano, Ramirez has been limited, and Reed Johnson (broken foot) isn’t close to returning.
“These next two weeks to me will tell a lot about what’s going to happen the rest of the season,” Piniella said.
— Carrie Muskat