Shortstop Nico Hoerner takes a big-picture approach to his health while eyeing a return to the Chicago Cubs this season

Twenty minutes before the sky opened above PNC Park, the cool fall weather in full force, Nico Hoerner manned his position at shortstop.

Hoerner had not made on-field throws from his position since Sept. 11, when imaging revealed he suffered a mild-to-moderate right triceps strain. The injury didn’t occur on a singular throw, rather during a diving attempt on a ball up the middle.

“When it happened, it wasn’t like, ‘Dang, I’m hurt. I’m going to miss a lot of time,’ ” Hoerner said Thursday. “That’s not how it felt when it happened. … There’s always going to be things playing how I play that are going to pop up. There’s going to be day-to-day stuff for every player but especially playing in the middle of the field, and if you do strain something, you want to do it trying to make a diving play and having a close play at first. No regrets on that, I was prepared to play. I felt good physically and it was unfortunate, but you move on.”

With 12 games left after the Cubs’ series opener against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Hoerner is not ruling out a return this season. It would be his ideal outcome.

“If I’m in a place where I’m healthy and there’s a good chunk of games left, like 30 or 40 at-bats left to have, I think that’s valuable time,” he said.

Hoerner reiterated it must make sense physically for him to come back and everyone must be on the same page. He knows the end of the season is approaching quickly but sounded confident a return is a realistic goal.

When healthy, Hoerner has proved to be a dynamic all-around player who thrived in the move from second base to the everyday shortstop this season. While he might face another position change for 2023, pending …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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