Although he was in visible discomfort in his final partial inning of work last night, and although he was pulled from the game before completing the sixth inning, there is reason to believe Jon Lester might be OK.
Back issues are obviously a very tricky thing and can cost athletes (and regular folks) a lot of time, but they are also among the few injuries that can be managed and played through if they aren’t too serious. Hopefully that’s what we’re looking at with Lester, and both he and Joe Maddon made it seem like that after the game.
“I didn’t feel it on one particular thing,” Lester told Cubs.com after the game. “I don’t know if it happened when I swung and missed in the [fifth] inning. When I hit, I came back in and was fine and I went to stand up and it didn’t feel all that great. I don’t know if that was it, or Friday to today or what. I don’t think it’ll be anything that’ll stick around. I think we’ll be fine tomorrow.”
Similarly, Maddon indicated that after Lester came in for treatment, the back loosened up a bit. He sounded wholly unconcerned.
Depending on the weather this week, Lester would otherwise be scheduled to go again on Saturday against the Reds (he and the rest of the Cubs lost their off-day on Thursday, but that makeup game against the Nationals is imperiled by additional impending weather problems).