Cubs’ Rizzo dodges injury scare, could return Friday

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The Cubs’ top rookie in this year of auditions and distant-future dreaming, already seemed nearly back to normal Wednesday after a scary collision and fall in Tuesday’s game. And manager Dale Sveum said he expects Anthony Rizzo back at first base on Friday when the Cubs open a 10-game homestand.

Rizzo said he felt much better and hoped to keep that schedule.

“He’s just sore on the right side, but everything else checks out good,” Sveum said. “No head problems, no leg problems. … He swung pretty normal in the cage, and we’ll probably be able to use him to pinch-hit [Wednesday].”

That seemed impossible for at least a few frightening minutes Tuesday night after Rizzo collided with Houston first-baseman Brett Wallace and tumbled into foul territory – his 240-pound frame landing shoulder-first in the dirt.

He lay on the ground, tended by medical staff, for more than a minute before eventually leaving under his own power.

“That looked like it was going to be a pretty major injury right when it happened, even watching the replay,” Sveum said. “There was a lot of things flying around, a big body hitting the ground. I think we’re very fortunate. We got away with that one.”

Rizzo, who was recalled from AAA Iowa the final week of June, ranks third among National League rookies with a .293 batting average and fifth with 12 home runs. He’s fourth in both on-base percentage (.346) and slugging (.464).

Rookie catcher Anthony Recker, who played 25 games at first base in the minors last year, started at first Wednesday.

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