Cubs’ Willson Contreras fighting to return, running out of season

Manager David Ross said Contreras (sprained left ankle) felt fine moving in straight lines, but curves were “a little bit more challenging.”

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Cubs catcher Willson Contreras has been on the 10-day IL with a sprained left ankle since Sept. 3. File photo.

Cubs catcher Willson Contreras has been on the 10-day IL with a sprained left ankle since Sept. 3. File photo.

Jon Blacker/The Canadian Press via AP

MIAMI — Catcher Willson Contreras still has hurdles to clear before returning from a lingering sprained left ankle.

“You see the end in sight, and some personalities are like, ‘What’s the point of rushing back?’ And some personalities are like, ‘I’m [ticked off] I’m hurt; I want to finish; I enjoy playing baseball,’ ” manager David Ross said before the Cubs’ 10-3 loss Monday to the Marlins. “I think Willson falls in that second category of, ‘I’m trying to get back, but I can only do so much with my ankle.’ ”

Ross said that in running drills Sunday, Contreras felt fine moving in straight lines, but curves were “a little bit more challenging.”

Don’t just take Ross’ word when it comes to Contreras’ desire to stay on the field. He played through his ankle injury for weeks before landing on the injured list early this month. He initially rolled his ankle during the ‘‘Field of Dreams’’ game Aug. 11.

Contreras, 30, also is in a contract year with just over two weeks left in the season to affect his market. Health will be a consideration for potential suitors in free agency.

Second baseman Nick Madrigal (strained right groin) also has been going through a running and agility program.

Marlins mash Miley

Left-hander Wade Miley allowed seven runs in three-plus innings against the Marlins in his third start back from the 60-day injured list (left shoulder soreness).

“Just didn’t execute pitches,” Miley said. “Just couldn’t get the ball in glove-side at all, was fighting that the whole time. And then they made an adjustment and gave up on that pitch and started diving out over [the plate]. I didn’t have any way to combat it.”

The Marlins did most of their damage against Miley on Bryan De La Cruz’s third-inning grand slam. Because of shortstop Christopher Morel’s throwing error, the four runs were unearned.

Brault headed for rehab assignment

Lefty Steven Brault (strained left shoulder) is scheduled to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday. Brault has been limited to nine major-league outings this season.

He signed a minor-league deal with the Cubs this spring after his physical revealed a triceps injury. The team called him up from Triple-A in July, but the next month, he spent two weeks on the COVID-19-related injured list. He landed back on the IL with a shoulder injury in late August.

Hoerner taking grounders

Shortstop Nico Hoerner has avoided the injured list after straining his right triceps about a week ago. He fielded grounders before the Cubs’ blowout loss.

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