3/8 Russell making progress

Cubs reliever James Russell, slowed because of a tired arm, threw off the mound on Saturday and the lefty said he felt fine and should be ready for Cactus League games next week.

Russell didn’t have any problems this offseason except with the winter weather.

“I got a little tired once I got out here,” Russell said. “The weather was so bad in Texas and I couldn’t get out there every day. [I was throwing] every other day and then coming out here and throwing every day kind of snuck up on me a little bit.”

Russell, who has appeared in more than 70 games each of the last two seasons, said he needed one more side session and should be ready for games.

“It was only four days,” he said of the time he was sidelined. “I was cranked up, ready to go. All the long tossing went well and I feel strong.”

– Carrie Muskat

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