Cubs’ Yu Darvish throws simulated game day after tweeting about being tested for coronavirus

The potential Opening Day starter said he didn’t want to risk infecting teammates if had the headline-making strain of the virus, prompting Thursday’s doctor visit. He felt “good” Friday, he said.

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Darvish throws a simulated game Friday to make up for a missed start Thursday.

John Antonoff photo

MESA, Ariz. — Coronavirus? Or house dust allergies?

“I’m not sure,” Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish said. “I don’t know what’s going on. But they couldn’t find [anything]. But I’m still coughing.”

On Friday, Darvish threw a three-inning simulated game after missing Thursday’s scheduled spring-training start and looked “amazing,” according to his catcher, Willson Contreras.

The cough prompted him to stay in his car when he got to the Cubs’ facility in the morning and talk to a team doctor in the parking lot rather than go into the clubhouse. He then drove to a nearby doctor’s office and was tested, cleared and sent home.

“I felt different than usual,” he said. “I just wanted to make sure I’m good or not. I didn’t want to be in the clubhouse. If I have coronavirus or something like that and come into the clubhouse and spread it to everybody, that’s not good, right?”

“That’s nice of him,” teammate Jon Lester deadpanned.

Beyond clarifying that the Japanese word for hospital is used synonymously with a regular doctor’s office (which made his tweets Thursday seem more serious), he said by Friday he felt “good.”

“I’m still coughing a little bit, but at the same time, I have an allergy for house dust big-time,” he said.

House dust.

So much for all the attention he got for his tweets from the “hospital”/doctor’s office.

“That’s just today’s world,” manager David Ross said with a laugh. “I don’t make nothing of that. That’s who he is.”

All Ross knows for now is that Darvish was fine Friday, looking impressive in a sim game that included six strikeouts. He remains on a schedule that would make him — or Lester — available for the Opening Day start

March 26 in Milwaukee.

“You never know,” he said.

No go for Zo — for now

Former Cub Ben Zobrist has no immediate plans to play this season but hasn’t officially retired, the three-time All-Star said Friday during a brief conversation with reporters on his way out of town after spending a few days with former teammates.

Zobrist, who is more focused on family right now, did not work out with anybody during spring practices, instead choosing to hang out behind the scenes and catch up with friends and teammates. He said he plans to visit the team again in Chicago this season.

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