Ian Stewart has been dealing with wrist issues for years, and they took a turn for the worst last year with the Rockies, when he hurt the wrist again. Since then, he’s experienced daily pain, and it has impacted his ability to be the kind of hitter everyone hoped he might be.
Last week, the pain became too much, and the Cubs decided to place Stewart on the disabled list. In the meantime, Stewart was sent to the Cleveland Clinic to see a specialist about the possibility of a more serious problem in the wrist, like nerve damage. It seemed a little grim.
Fortunately, that visit proved uneventful, as the doctors there concluded there were no serious or structural issues in the wrist, and that the problem was the same as the Cubs’ doctors had concluded. So, instead of major surgery, Stewart got a cortisone shot to help him get through the season.
“They injected him on top of the hand this time,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum told reporters. “It seemed to go well, so hopefully that can get him through the season and we can go from there.”
As for future surgery for Stewart, Sveum isn’t ready to commit.
“I don’t know if it’s going to be on the table right now,” Sveum said. “This kind of thing is lingering, and hopefully these cortisone shots in a different area are going to make the big difference.”
Stewart is due to come off the disabled list late next week, but Luis Valbuena has been filling in admirably at third base for now. The Cubs would almost certainly still like to get Stewart back soon, and have him demonstrate that the cortisone shot resolved the wrist issue for now. If so, who knows? Maybe Stewart goes on a month-long run, and the Cubs find a taker at the trade deadline.