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Cubs notebook: Strop frustrated by setback, Bryant’s trophy case

Just when Pedro Strop was feeling confident he was on track for an early return, he’s now dealing with the disappointment of having to wait a bit longer.

Strop, who underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus, is looking at a mid-September return after straining his groin during a workout this week. Strop said Friday he was on the final set of a leg workout with a 50-pound weight when the injury occurred.

“Things happen,” Strop said. “The only thing I can say is, it is what it is and I look forward to getting better.”

Strop tore his meniscus Aug. 10 and was scheduled to miss four to six weeks. He said trainers told him he was ahead of schedule and was within a few days of making a rehab start when he injured his groin.

Pedro Strop is helped off the field after sustaining an apparent injury while fielding a ball against the Los Angeles Angels on August 10. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Strop said the setback wasn’t as emotionally taxing as when he initially injured his knee.

“I was really worried if I was done for the season or not,” Strop said. “So after they told me I was going to be back, I was working hard and doing whatever I could to come back as soon as possible.

“When I felt something in my groin a couple of days ago, I’m not going to lie — I was frustrated a little bit and I was sad a little bit because I was a step away from [coming] back. But I’m fine.”

Rizzo’s reason to celebrate

On a day the Cubs raised awareness for childhood cancer, Anthony Rizzo celebrated the eight-year anniversary of the day he learned the Hodgkin’s lymphoma he battled for six months had gone into remission.

Shortly after being diagnosed, Rizzo — who was 18 and playing minor-league ball — received a visit from Jon Lester, who fought non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a rookie in 2006.

Rizzo established the Anthony Rizzo Family Foundation in 2012 to help raise awareness and funds for various forms of childhood cancer. He spends as much time as possible visiting cancer patients and remembers the impact Lester’s visit had on him. Some visits are tougher than others.

“Sometimes, I’ll meet some 15-16-17-year-old, and it hits me right in the head,” Rizzo said. “They are sick and battling, in many cases, battling a lot more than I had to. I just try to give them positive reinforcement that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Bryant’s trophy-case debate

Third baseman Kris Bryant admits hearing the “MVP” chants that often accompany his at-bats at Wrigley Field. And although he isn’t focused on it, following up his Rookie of the Year Award with an MVP trophy isn’t lost on him.

But where such a trophy would reside remains a point of contention between Bryant and his father, Mike. Bryant said many of his baseball awards are kept in his childhood bedroom and the less significant ones are displayed at the outdoor batting cage at his house.

“I tell him, ‘Don’t put all the good stuff out there so people aren’t touching it,’ ” Bryant said. “I put the good trophies in the room and the other ones outside.”

So what constitutes a good trophy?

“The ones that look pretty and the ones that are shiny,” Bryant said. “Like the Golden Spikes Award. He keeps wanting to put that one in the cage, and I’m like, ‘No, that’s my favorite one.”

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