Chicago Cubs get an ominous injury update on left-hander Jordan Wicks

Cubs continue to push on, despite an insanely high number of early season injuries.
Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs
Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages
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It seems like with each passing day the Chicago Cubs add another name to its ever-expanding list of injured players and, on Saturday night, it was left-hander Jordan Wicks added to the pile with what the team called 'left forearm tightness.'

Now, given the rash of serious arm injuries we've seen around the league this year, it's difficult not to hear that initial diagnosis and fear the worst - some UCL damage in Wicks' pitching elbow. But, for now, it's a wait-and-see situation with the young left-hander, who has been a key contributor in the rotation for Craig Counsell in the season's first month.

Coming off his best outing of the year against the Astros at home, Wicks has allowed two or fewer earned runs in four of his five starts. The big knock against him is he hasn't worked deep into games, pitching into the sixth just one time - in that aforementioned start against Houston, when he allowed two earned over six frames, striking out four.

Cubs hold their breath on Jordan Wicks, await Justin Steele's return

If you're looking for more of a glass-half-full sort of take, I suppose the recent update on Justin Steele and a potential earlier-than-expected return to the team could help soften the blow. But, as we've seen made clear here in April, starting pitching depth is everything and losing Wicks for any measurable amount of time would be significant.

Hayden Wesneski, who has been much stronger out of the pen over the last year-plus than as a starter, will take the ball in the rubber match on Sunday against Boston. Counsell, at least right now, rounds out a rotation with the likes of Jameson Taillon, early Rookie of the Year candidate Shota Imanaga, Ben Brown and Javier Assad.

Steele, Drew Smyly and Kyle Hendricks are all on the IL, leaving Chicago pretty short-handed in this department. Hopefully, Steele's tune-up at Iowa goes smoothly this week and the Cubs avoid disaster with Wicks because it feels like Counsell is holding this rotation together with chewing gum - and we haven't even hit May 1 yet.

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