Kyle Schwarber’s long journey back to the Major Leagues continues, after tearing his ACL and LCL and severely spraining his ankle in the first week of the season, but his progress looks as promising as ever.
The last time we checked in on Schwarber, we already knew that his surgery was a success and that he had been walking around, but we also learned that he had been fitted with a brand new, less onerous knee brace and was now (then) capable of walking about without crutches.
In addition, we learned from Theo Epstein that Schwarber had been helping the advanced scouts break down opposing hitters and was even present in the draft room on draft day. Today, the update is a bit more significant and a lot more specific. In reports from the Chicago Tribune (Paul Sullivan), CSN Chicago (Patrick Mooney), Cubs.com (Carrie Muskat) and ESPN Chicago (Jesse Rogers), we learn about the progress he’s already made (increased strength, range of motion) and the next steps (jogging).
Schwarber also discusses in those articles the many trade rumors you’ve heard about, but he can’t really worry about it. And, besides, the signals have been continuously strong that the Cubs won’t deal Schwarber. So, then, back to the rehab.
Schwarber is rehabbing in Chicago, where he’s been taking advantage of the Cubs’ new hydrotherapy room in their recently expanded clubhouse. Already, according to Schwarber, he’s capable of “jogging,” underwater. Even though there has been a lot of progress over the last few weeks, those have actually been the toughest ones for the Cubs young catcher/outfielder. “Those first six weeks … it was just trying to get my knee to bend, and (then) I was done,” Schwarber said, per the Tribune. “Now that I’m doing a lot more, it has been more challenging.”
Indeed, while the first part of his rehab may have been more painful and boring, the second half will be a lot more challenging and stressful. Even still, if Schwarber is known for anything off the field, it’s his hard work and determination. Remember, he essentially willed himself to be a catcher with the Cubs, despite many suggestions to the contrary. Which is why you shouldn’t be surprised to hear Schwarber say he’s going to work his butt off to get back as soon as he can, adding, “whatever the timetable is, I want to do more.”
Suffice it to say, barring anything out of his control, Schwarber will be back as soon as humanly possible. Getting a taste of the majors and then the playoffs must be mighty strong motivation.
But don’t expect anything before Spring Training 2017.
Although Schwarber has made some significant strides lately, there is no expectation of a quicker return. So don’t do it to yourself.
That said, Schwarber has reportedly regained nearly the entire range of motion in his knee and has continued to strengthen it day after day. According to Schwarber, although the process has been slow, everyone is happy with where there at right now. Getting back his range of motion, while strengthening the knee back up appears to be a very big first step.
Once the doctors agree that he’s acquired enough range of motion and built up enough strength to move on, Schwarber will begin the next phase of his rehab: jogging. It’s not clear how long it will take until he reaches that point, but that feels like something we’ll hear/see about right away.
We will, of course, update you as soon as that news comes out, but if you’re looking to keep very close tabs on is progress, jogging is the big benchmark to look at for. As we’ve seen with Jorge Soler, Tommy La Stella and Dexter Fowler just recently, jogging/running exercises tend to take place right at Wrigley Field. So keep your eyes peeled.