Injury Update: Yu Darvish Throws Bullpen in Milwaukee

The day after the Cubs took over first place in the NL Central (and assumed the best record in the National League), Yu Darvish took a big step in his rehab for a right triceps issue that has sidelined him since May 20.

The Cubs have not given much indication as to Darvish’s timeline throughout this process, but we did hear Joe Maddon mention that he was unsure if a return would happen prior to the All-Star break. After today’s bullpen, we still have not gotten a clear idea of when the Cubs envision Darvish returning to the rotation, but this is a step in the right direction.

Darvish told the media that there was no pain in his pitching arm, though it’s now a matter of waiting to see how it responds over the next two days.

Maddon offered no details on the session during his pre-game availability, though he was apparently pleased by the results.

”What I saw today was outstanding,” the skipper said after observing Darvish.

While the Cubs and Darvish both want to see him back in the rotation as soon as possible, there is no reason to rush. The Cubs have been on a roll lately and with Mike Montgomery filling in admirably in the rotation, the situation is far from dire. That allows the Cubs to take their time making sure Darvish is 100 percent healthy for the rest of the season.

Because of the extended break, he will eventually need to make a rehab start (or multiple rehab starts) before returning to the big leagues, so he’s still a couple weeks away at a minimum. Perhaps if Tyler Chatwood’s command issues bubble over to the point of crisis, Darvish’s absence would put a more critical strain on the Cubs rotation. Aside from that or another injury, though, this rotation is more than capable of keeping the winning train on it’s tracks.

If all goes according to plan, the Cubs will essential add Darvish back to the rotation as somewhat of a mid-season acquisition, if you will. The team is currently in first place and has won five series in a row. Can you imagine what it would look like with the injection of a healthy Darvish pitching at the level the Cubs anticipated when they signed him?

Look out, National League.

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