Cubs plan to send Cody Bellinger on rehab assignment before returning from IL

Injury updates: Cubs extend Codi Heuer’s rehab assignment; Justin Steele is making progress.

SHARE Cubs plan to send Cody Bellinger on rehab assignment before returning from IL
Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger has been sidelined by a knee injury since May 15.

Cubs center fielder Cody Bellinger has been sidelined by a knee injury since May 15.

Jeff Dean/AP

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Cubs plan to send center fielder Cody Bellinger on a rehab assignment before he returns from the injured list, president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer said Tuesday.

The exact timing has yet to be determined, and Bellinger, who suffered a bone bruise when he hyperextended his left knee, might start the stint in Arizona instead of at an affiliate.

‘‘Certainly, he’s been out long enough that we feel like he’s going to need it,’’ Hoyer said. ‘‘And he probably needs it mentally, as well. With his injury, there’s having confidence that he’s going to feel good. It’s one thing to simulate game activity; it’s another thing to actually go and do it.’’

Bellinger has been sidelined since May 15, when he hurt his knee making a leaping catch against the wall at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Cubs have missed his left-handed power.

While filling in for Bellinger, left-handed Mike Tauchman was hitting .297 with nine walks and four RBI entering play Tuesday. If he continues to play well, the Cubs might try to keep both on the roster when Bellinger returns.

Heuer rehab extended

Reliever Codi Heuer was scheduled to pitch Tuesday for Triple-A Iowa. The Cubs extended his rehab assignment past the usual 30-day limit, given leeway because he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery.

‘‘He’s struggled with command a little bit, especially command of the off-speed [pitch],’’ Hoyer said. ‘‘The velocity has been there. But we want to make sure he’s really right when he comes up, and he wasn’t quite there yet. And Tommy John rehabs are fickle things.’’

Other injury news

Left-hander Justin Steele is scheduled for a light ‘‘touch-and-feel’’ bullpen session while the Cubs are in Anaheim, manager David Ross said. He’s set to throw a couple of bullpen sessions before making his next start June 17 against the Orioles.

Reliever Brad Boxberger said his light bullpen session Monday went well. The plan, Ross said, is to give Boxberger another bullpen session before the Cubs likely send him to Arizona on a rehab assignment. He is scheduled for that bullpen session Wednesday.

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