Nico Hoerner Doesn't Sound Close to Starting a Rehab Assignment Again

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Nico Hoerner Doesn’t Sound Close to Starting a Rehab Assignment Again

Chicago Cubs

Although this year’s September call-ups might just be dudes returning from injuries, I didn’t mention Nico Hoerner this morning because the timeline for his return from an oblique setback is quite unclear. It’s still not a lock that he returns this year at all.

Hoerner was on a rehab assignment at South Bend about 10 days ago when he felt something in his side just a little bit off, so he pulled himself mid-at bat. Despite the hope that he’d be back to a rehab assignment by now, it hasn’t happened. The latest, via the Sun-Times:

Manager David Ross had hoped Hoerner would be able to start a fresh rehab assignment a few weeks after his setback, but with just four weeks left in the season, it doesn’t appear imminent.

“More baseball activity [Tuesday],” Ross said. “I hope he’s getting closer. I’m hoping yesterday’s off day went a long way in helping him recover. He’s moving around, itching to get back, but it’s just not responding the way he wants yet.”

In other words, another attempt at a rehab assignment ain’t close. And if he doesn’t start a rehab assignment within another week or two, it will probably be time to just call it. Oblique injuries SUCK. Hoerner hasn’t played since July 28.

As we’ve discussed, getting Hoerner as many plate appearances as possible this year for developmental purposes was critical, so the pileup of injuries throughout the year really sucks. Whether he comes back this year or not, the Cubs cannot proceed as if he will, for sure, be their starting shortstop next year. It’s just not a reasonable approach at this point, even if you love what Hoerner could theoretically bring to the 2022 Cubs in SOME role.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.