Cubs’ Ben Zobrist says back is pain-free but no timetable for playing games

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MESA, Ariz. —Ben Zobrist’s balky back could keep him out of games for at least several more days, but the 12-year veteran said that doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm for how good he feels overall.

And he’s not worried about getting enough at-bats, even if his debut is pushed back a week into the Cactus League schedule.

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“Overall, I feel really, really good,” said Zobrist, adding that the back tightened up after he flew to Arizona about a week ago but the pain was gone by Saturday. “I feel in great shape.”

Zobrist, who played 128 games last year because of injuries, has hit off a tee since the back flared and expects to start taking batting practice by early in the week.

“I was frustrated that it was tight,” said Zobrist, who had been especially upbeat about how well his offseason work had gone. “But it’s spring training, so there’s a lot less pressure right now to make sure I’m playing in games when we’ve just started games in spring training.

“We’re just trying to be careful and make sure we’re not pushing it when we don’t need to, especially when I’ve got some miles on my body.”

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