Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo says he’s managing a ‘flare up’, team says

Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo comes clean on Twitter that he is aware of the extent of his injury and reveals how it’s being treated

Just bring up Anthony Rizzo’s back issues to any Cubs fan, and they will tell you he’s been battling the pain in the back for the past couple of seasons. However, the team and Rizzo have all downplayed the back injury, reporting to fans like it’s a pulled hamstring. Some recent Tweets by ESPN’s Jesse Rogers provide a little more insight into Rizzo’s chronic back problem.

Rizzo has never been a skinny guy like Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks. Rizzo grew up in MLB, where players pumped iron and got big to hit the bat with more power and, in the event of a dugout clearing play, be able to punch with power. Remember the pumped up Rizzo calling out the Cincinnati Reds dugout of players some years back?

You don’t even think those thoughts if you look like Hendricks. Rizzo knew he had to be significant if he was going to be the ‘heavy’ on the team, and at that time, it was reasonable to bulk up.

However, these days that muscle-bound player attitude has been replaced with trim, fit and quick.  A tall, lean player has replaced the bulked-up player. Rizzo went back to the gym over the COVID-Break but not to pump up like all the year’s before; this time, he wanted to lose weight, get trim and faster. In Rizzo’s mind, losing weight and getting skinny should also have helped his back issue, but according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, they keep coming.

What was most surprising in Rogers’s recent Tweets was that Rizzo admitted that the team has been managing his back all along since the first flareup. This comes as a surprise to fans that thought of Rizzo’s back issues, like a hamstring injury, take some time off, physical therapy and come back. Rizzo’s comment to Jesse Rogers on Twitter gives more insight into the issue and how serious it has been for the Cubs.

Rizzo explains a lot when he says that “we do a great job of limiting it.” That means the Cubs have got personnel looking over Rizzo’s back and providing therapy and solutions to help prevent the spasms from happening. The Cubs know it has been an issue, and Rizzo is saying that everyone has done their best to keep the flareups to a minimum. Last Sunday, Rizzo was at batting practice before heading to the clinic for an MRI, which revealed the inflammation in his lower back.

At this point, Rizzo has expressed that his injury is getting better, and the pain from the spasms on the left side of his back have almost passed.  On Thursday, Rizzo attended the Cubs batting practice and even swung the bat a bit. While just about every fan has the remedy for Rizzo’s back to include acupuncture, chiropractic and ICEY-Hot, it seems the Cubs are treating this injury the same as Rizzo’s others and working him back slowly – if he’ll let them.

If he had his choice, Rizzo would sooner miss a few games early on than a significant part of the season, and the Cubs are more than ready to give their superstar first baseman a little break before the fireworks of this short season begin.

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However, that isn’t Rizzo’s style at all. He wants to play the very first game of the season and all the rest; that’s why he’s a batting practice a few days after an MRI. Rizzo knows not only will this season be played uniquely, but it will also be remembered as historical, and that has RIZZO written all over it.

For Cubs fans that deserve a smile on their faces with an opening win in a week, I’m sure Rizzo will summon the Gods for strength so as not to miss this season’s opener.

That’s our boy–predictable.

Lots of heart.