Chicago Cubs suffer major injury scare in latest Spring Training game

This would be a code red injury for the Cubs.

Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves
Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The one player that the Chicago Cubs can not stand to replace with the start of the regular season next week is starting pitcher Justin Steele.

Steele is scheduled to be the Cubs' Opening Day starting pitcher and the team is dependent on him pitching to the form that landed him in the top-five of voting for the National League Cy Young Award last season.

That would be the reason why the sight that Cubs fans saw on Friday when the Cubs played a Cactus League game against the San Francisco Giants was terrifying.

A major injury to Justin Steele would devastate the Chicago Cubs season before it even starts.

Steele took a comebacker to the knee and immediately went down in pain. Steele was removed from the game immediately while walking gingerly back to the clubhouse. The hope is that Steele is only dealing with a stinger and bruising,

Craig Counsell will undoubtedly be asked about the injury after the game where he will likely defer until tomorrow before providing any concrete update on Steele.

Given the limitations of the Cubs' starting rotation, the Cubs can not afford to be without Steele for any considerable amount of time. The Cubs' rotation is already one that lacks legitimacy at the top and one that would struggle in a potential post-season matchup against potent lineups such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.

The Cubs have already battled injuries to their pitching staff during Spring Training. Caleb Kilian and Jameson Taillon are each expected to begin the season on the IL. The hope for Taillon is that he will be back by mid-April but Kilian is expected to be sidelined for most of the first half.

The Cubs have been hesitant go down the path of signing Jordan Montgomery but if Steele's injury is serious, that may force the team to reconsider the free-agent starting pitcher.

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