The Cubs' top rookie in this year of auditions and distant-future dreaming, already seemed nearly back to normal Wednesday after a scary collision and fall in Tuesday's game. And manager Dale Sveum said he expects Anthony Rizzo back at first base on Friday when the Cubs open a 10-game homestand.
Rizzo said he felt much better and hoped to keep that schedule.
``He's just sore on the right side, but everything else checks out good,'' Sveum said. ``No head problems, no leg problems. ... He swung pretty normal in the cage, and we'll probably be able to use him to pinch-hit [Wednesday].''
That seemed impossible for at least a few frightening minutes Tuesday night after Rizzo collided with Houston first-baseman Brett Wallace and tumbled into foul territory - his 240-pound frame landing shoulder-first in the dirt.
He lay on the ground, tended by medical staff, for more than a minute before eventually leaving under his own power.
``That looked like it was going to be a pretty major injury right when it happened, even watching the replay,'' Sveum said. ``There was a lot of things flying around, a big body hitting the ground. I think we're very fortunate. We got away with that one.''
Rizzo, who was recalled from AAA Iowa the final week of June, ranks third among National League rookies with a .293 batting average and fifth with 12 home runs. He's fourth in both on-base percentage (.346) and slugging (.464).
Rookie catcher Anthony Recker, who played 25 games at first base in the minors last year, started at first Wednesday.