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Zobrist’s MRI comes back clean; Friday is the target for return

Chicago Cubs' Ben Zobrist rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies. | Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

Manager Joe Maddon has learned from experience that when veteran Ben Zobrist speaks, it’s in his best interest to listen.

So when Zobrist predicted he likely would need only a week to recover from soreness in his left wrist that landed him on the

10-day disabled list Friday, Maddon took him at his word.

And after the results of an MRI exam came back clean Monday, Zobrist’s timing appears to be spot-on. Zobrist, who has been bothered by the wrist since injuring it on a swing May 26, said he will test the wrist Wednesday and is looking to return Friday.

‘‘It just depends on how it feels,’’ Zobrist said before the Cubs’ game Monday against the Padres at Wrigley Field. ‘‘The thing is, I can’t tell until I actually swing hard whether we’re going to be able to do it. We’re not going to push it.’’

If Zobrist doesn’t return Friday against the Marlins in Miami, he said he likely will go to the minors for ‘‘a day or so’’ to get some at-bats before returning Monday against the Nationals in Washington.

Maddon said he will rely on Zobrist’s judgment, knowing Zobrist will provide him with an honest assessment of how he’s feeling.

‘‘It’s all what he needs,’’ Maddon said. ‘‘The mind of Zo, you just listen to it. He’s going to be very direct and honest. He has no other method. It’s unfiltered. It’s the most unfiltered mind in history. So listen to him, and he’ll tell you what he needs. And that’s what you do.’’

Heyward, Russell on track

Shortstop Addison Russell and right fielder Jason Heyward were out of the starting lineup in the series opener against the Padres because of minor injuries.

Russell turned his right ankle while running the bases Saturday against the Pirates and sat out Sunday. Heyward scraped his left hand on the gravel warning track while trying to make a sliding catch in foul territory Sunday against the Pirates. Javy Baez started at short and Jon Jay in right.

Russell, who entered the game at short on a double-switch in the seventh inning, said before the game that he was ready to return.

‘‘I’m walking on it fine,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m doing everything I would normally do if my ankle didn’t get hurt. It’s doing good now.’’

Short stay

After returning home from a six-game trip, the Cubs’ stay in town will last only three days before they begin a three-city trip Thursday against the Marlins.

Third baseman Kris Bryant called the scheduling ‘‘weird’’ and said he won’t allow himself to get too comfortable.

‘‘I’m not even going to unpack my bag,’’ Bryant said. ‘‘I’m just going to wear the same clothes I wore on the last road trip.’’

Follow me on Twitter @JeffArnold_.


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