Cubs’ Willson Contreras expected to return to starting lineup in Milwaukee

Contreras (left ankle) has been out of the lineup for three days.

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Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said he woke up Thursday pain-free.

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said he woke up Thursday pain-free.

Nam Y. Huh/AP

Cubs manager David Ross anticipates Willson Contreras will be back in the lineup and behind the plate Friday in Milwaukee after being out for the third straight day with a left ankle injury. 

Contreras rolled his ankle in the Field of Dreams game two weeks ago and successfully played through the soreness, even mashing four home runs since the injury. But it swelled up a couple days ago.

“It’s one thing when the ankle hurts, because the ankle, you can walk through it,” Contreras said. “But when the foot starts hurting it’s even tough to walk and play. So you have to take one step back and do all your recovery [to] get better and get on the field as soon as possible.”

Contreras couldn’t pinpoint anything that might have aggravated the injury this week. He suspects the inflammation stemmed from an accumulation of stress over the last couple of weeks. But he woke up Thursday pain-free.

Welcome to Wrigley

Cade Horton and Jackson Ferris, the Cubs’ first- and second-round draft picks this year, held up blue pinstripe jerseys in front of a pair of Cubs lockers Thursday morning during their tour of Wrigley Field.

Surrounded by family, they pulled the jerseys over their shirts and posed for pictures that captured a glimpse into their possible futures. 

“It’s an experience like none other, just being out here” Ferris said. “It’s my first time in Chicago, my first time at Wrigley. And to be able to see everything that I’ve seen, it’s awesome.”

Said Horton: “I can feel the history. It feels super cool, the ivy’s super cool. It’s unreal.” 

Ross greeted them in the clubhouse, and they met with president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer in person for the first time.

“Both seem mature for their age, and they’ve been excited to be in Arizona and getting a taste of pro ball,” Hoyer said. “It’s a little different taste because they’re not competing. They’re throwing bullpens and [getting in] active rests, so to speak. But I think they’ve learned a lot being just out there, getting around the environment, the guys, roasting in 115 degree weather.”

Next step: instructional league.

O Canada

Canada’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements for entry into the country have already barred a smattering of players across MLB from playing in Toronto. The Cubs travel north to face the Blue Jays next week.

“We’re likely to be down by three or four players,” Hoyer said.

The Cubs are expected to announce this weekend which players will land on the restricted list for the three-game series.

Injury updates

Right-hander Adbert Alzolay (right shoulder strain) was scheduled to throw a bullpen at Triple-A Iowa on Thursday. Alzolay began a rehab assignment Monday in the Arizona Complex League, throwing three innings of one-run ball.

Outfielder Michael Hermosillo (left quad strain), after four rehab games in Arizona, joined the I-Cubs on Thursday to continue his rehab assignment.

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