The Chicago Cubs got some good news on the injury front Wednesday, as one of their key players has been cleared to return to the field.
That player is starting pitcher Jon Lester, who was forced out of his Aug. 17 start against the Cincinnati Reds with a lat strain and shoulder fatigue. He was placed on the disabled list following the injury, but he will be back in the lineup and on the mound Saturday when the Cubs battle the Atlanta Braves, manager Joe Maddon said.
Lester, who has a 4.37 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 148.1 innings of work this season, will rejoin a rotation that has been starting to round into form in recent weeks.
One of the pitchers who has found a groove is lefty Mike Montgomery, who has given up just one run in two starts in place of Lester. Montgomery will not go back to the bullpen, Maddon said, and will instead stay in the rotation during the team’s stretch run toward October.
When Lester is activated from the disabled list, a corresponding roster move will not need to be made, as the team will be able to expand its roster to 40 players on Friday.