Cubs don't plan to put Contreras on injured list

The Cubs are hoping catcher Willson Contreras will recover from right hamstring tightness without needing a stint on the injured list. Contreras left Saturday's game in the third inning while running the bases.

Catcher P.J. Higgins was brought up from Iowa and started Sunday's game, but Contreras remained on the active roster. Infielder Ildemaro Vargas was designated for assignment as the corresponding move.

"Just day to day. It's actually something that's not too concerning," manager David Ross said. "We'll give him a day or two off and see how he feels. That's why P.J.'s here. And we've got Yan obviously. So we're covered, but I think it was good news from what we expected."

Injurywise, the good news has been sporadic this season. Nico Hoerner, Nick Madrigal, Jason Heyward, Clint Frazier and several pitchers are already on the injured list, while starter Marcus Stroman and closer David Robertson recently returned.

"Frustration's not the word I would use. You're just like, 'Man, we're getting thin,'" Ross said. "So in one aspect does it (stink)? Sure. But there's also another aspect where the next man up and who knows who the next longtime big-leaguer is going to be with an opportunity?"

Hoerner getting close:

Shortstop Nico Hoerner did some hitting, running and cutting before Sunday's game, so it looks like he's about to return from a sprained right ankle. Manager David Ross didn't want to commit to Hoerner being activated from the injured list for the upcoming series in Cincinnati.

"I mean, listen, this is a young man who's establishing his major league career and he's been through a lot of adversity in his first couple of years and he's gotten off to a really good start and proven himself an everyday shortstop in my eyes," Ross said. "So bringing him back at less than 100 percent makes zero sense to me. That's my take."

Hoerner, hitting .271 on the season, has been out since a collision with an umpire in the May 11 game in San Diego.

While Ross doesn't think Hoerner will go on a rehab assignment before returning to action, second baseman Nick Madrigal (lower back tightness) is likely to spend time in Iowa. Madrigal last played on May 9.

"He's kind of taken that two-steps-forward, one-step-back," Ross said. "Just trying to introduce him back into activity. It's gone a little bit slower than we expected, but I think it's starting to come around now. So we're moving in the right direction, but he'll definitely need to go off and get some at-bats."

Iowa rehab:

Alec Mills was the starting pitcher for Triple A Iowa on Sunday. He threw 43 pitches, allowing 1 run and 2 hits in just over 2 innings of work. Mills started the season on the injured list with a lower back strain. After this first rehab assignment in Iowa on April 23, he backed off due to right quad tightness.

Clint Frazier and David Bote were both in the Iowa Cubs lineup on Sunday, continuing rehab assignments. ... The Cubs said there were no significant problems for reliever Rowan Wick, who was hit in the right forearm by a line drive on Saturday.

Twitter: @McGrawDHSports

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