Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner’s return from injury uncertain

Hoerner’s mild strain of his right biceps will sideline him for at least a couple of more days. “It’s a little worse off than we thought,” manager David Ross said.

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Nico Hoerner hasn’t played since injuring his right arm while diving and making a quick throw Sept. 11 against the Giants.

Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Shortstop Nico Hoerner’s mildly strained right biceps will sideline him for at least a couple of more days, and it’s uncertain when he will return.

‘‘It’s a little worse off than we thought,’’ said manager David Ross, who indicated an MRI exam showed the injury needed to be treated with more caution.

Hoerner hasn’t played since injuring the arm while diving and making a quick throw last Sunday against the Giants. But with a .291 batting average, an 86.8% contact rate and 11 defensive runs saved, there’s nothing left for Hoerner to prove to the Cubs this season.

As of now, the Cubs haven’t publicly hinted at the thought of shutting down Hoerner, who indicated to Ross that he would like to return this season.

‘‘I would say we’re going to try to work on him to get back,’’ Ross said. ‘‘He wants to get back.’’

Timely insurance policy

In the event the Cubs don’t re-sign catcher Willson Contreras this winter, they appear to have no worse than a capable part-time replacement in Yan Gomes.

With Gomes behind the plate, starters Marcus Stroman (3.06 ERA), Justin Steele (1.36), Keegan Thompson (3.42), Kyle Hendricks (2.83) and Adrian Sampson (2.67) have lower ERAs than their season marks.

The Cubs signed Gomes, 35, to a two-year, $13 million contract with a club option for 2024 before the lockout last offseason.

‘‘I think he just has that veteran presence back there, and guys trust him,’’ pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said. ‘‘He can relate to guys. He also knows the right time to challenge them a little bit.’’

Gomes had caught pitchers such as Corey Kluber, Andrew Miller, Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas before joining the Cubs.

‘‘His level of communication with the player and the staff, being on the same page, he really takes pride in covering the whole part of every part of the game and communicating it,’’ Hottovy said. ‘‘He does a great job of that. When he gets guys to trust it’s going to work, he has the ability to influence them in a lot of ways.’’

This and that

The Cubs selected the contract of infielder Esteban Quiroz from Triple-A Iowa. Quiroz appeared as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning and struck out.

• The Cubs put right fielder Seiya Suzuki on the paternity list so he could attend the birth of his first child in Japan.

• Left-hander Sean Newcomb and first baseman Frank Schwindel were designated for assignment.

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