gods-wrathChicago Cubs shortstop/third base/outfield/future pitching prospect Junior Lake has been out of action for a few days with what the Cubs thought was something of a sore shoulder. Well, he might have a sore shoulder, but that’s no longer what’s keeping him out: Dale Sveum told the media today that an MRI revealed that Lake’s got a broken rib of the “stress fracture” variety. (It’s probably up around the back part of the rib that approaches the shoulder area. I’m just guessing.)

Lake, 22, will now miss four to six weeks of action. It’s really unfortunate timing as the Cubs look to figure out what they have in the enigmatic talent. He missed time early last year, too, with an injury. He wasn’t a threat to make the roster or anything, but I could see a scenario where the Cubs really need to know what they think his future will be when the Trade Deadline rolls around. Now the window in which to explore his positional possibilities has shrunk considerably.

He also needs the at bats, frankly.

Hopefully he’ll be back to 100% by mid-May, and will still have plenty of time to put in a mostly full season at AAA this year. It’s not a super serious injury, but it’s still unfortunate. You hate to see this kind of stuff with guys at such a critical development stage.

  • Jeff

    A .304 AVG with a cracked rib? Maybe, we need to start busting up some Ribs in camp.

  • itzscott

    It’s the Cubs!

    Some things never change with their luck…. why did this development not surprise me?

  • Jono

    That sucks

  • Rcleven

    At least this is good time for the MLB team to happen. Stewart will be on the field this week and need the AB’s.
    Jr. Heal well.

  • When the Music’s Over

    I don’t think this is a huge setback. He could technically be back mid-April.

    I’m more curious as to how it happened.

  • cubchymyst

    I’ve been wonder what will happen with Vitters if Lake ends up starting at 3rd for Iowa more often. Hopefully Vitters can show some improvement in the first month at 3rd while Lake is out. At this point, from what I’ve been reading, I’d rather see Lake stay and Vitters be thrown in at the trade deadline as a sweetener.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Vitters will split time between 3B, LF, and 1B. Lake will probably split his time between SS, 3B, and OF.

  • Kramden

    Yep…. The opportunity doors swings open yet again for Vitters.

    • Rich H

      Makes you wonder if there was not a sharp “at a boy” slap on the back from Vitters that broke the rib? (I kid I kid)

      • miggy80

        Good question, but how do you break a rib and think it’s a sore shoulder?

        • 100 Years of Tears

          The first several ribs sit underneath the shoulder blade, arm pit, and collar bone, and run from the sternum in the front to the vertebrae in the back. There are several muscles including those of the rotator cuff that pass over the ribs between the shoulder blade and vertebrae… a broken rib located in that region could feel simply like a deep shoulder muscle strain.

          • 100 Years of Tears

            EDIT: There are several muscles, including the rhomboids and those of the rotator cuff, that pass over the ribs between the shoulder and vertebraeā€¦

            The pec major and minor (among others) could stress the ribs on the front side as well.

            Damn you, missing edit button!!!

          • hansman1982

            Yup, the body is a weird thing. My thumb was introduced to a bench grinder a few years ago. During the healing process I would soak it in hot salt water and the tip of my index finger hurt during this about as bad as my thumb.

  • fromthemitten

    Ribs! smh!