Chicago Cubs provide major update on Justin Steele injury

It could be worse for the Chicago Cubs and Justin Steele.

Chicago Cubs v Texas Rangers
Chicago Cubs v Texas Rangers / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The promotion of top pitching prospect Ben Brown served as an indication that the Chicago Cubs were going to be without Justin Steele for some time.

It would have been unlikely that the Cubs were going to start Brown's service time clock if he was just making a spot start or two.

Ahead of the Cubs' second game of the season against the Texas Rangers on Saturday night, Craig Counsell provided a general timeline for how long the team will be without their Opening Day starter.

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Justin Steele to be sidelined for at least one month

The typical recovery time for a Grade 1 hamstring is approximately 4-6 weeks. Combining this with the update provided by Counsell, it would seem the best-case scenario is for Steele to be back during the first week of May. However, factoring in a likely rehab assignment, Steele likely will not be back on the Major League mound until mid-May.

While there is no great time for the ace of a pitching staff to go down with a hamstring injury, if it is going to happen, it rather be at the start of the season as opposed to during the second half when the team is making a push for the post-season.

Jed Hoyer has not been shy about his confidence in the Cubs' pitching depth. That depth will certainly be tested with Steele expected to be sidelined for the next month and Jameson Taillon not returning until closer to the end of April.

For the next month, the Cubs will have a rotation that consists of Brown, Kyle Hendricks, Shota Imanaga, Jordan Wicks, and Javier Assad. In other words, Hoyer will either be validated in his avoidance of adding a top-of-the-rotation arm this offseason or this will be a missed opportunity like failing to address the bullpen last season.

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