MESA, Ariz. -- Another spring training, another damn injury for Ian Stewart.
``I'm just trying to stay positive,'' said the Cub third baseman, who after two years of issues with his left wrist finally seemed to prove it was fixed Thursday - just in time to strain his left quadriceps running the bases in an intrasquad game.
``I've had enough stress and stuff to worry about since [going on the DL in] June. I'm just going to roll with it and hopefully get this MRI and find out it's a mild strain or something, and come back soon.''
Stewart, the guy the Cubs want to see earn the third base job after signing him back on a one-year, $2 million deal, headed out for the precautionary MRI Friday morning, less than 24 hours after feeling the quad give as he rounded first on a double in his first game action since wrist surgery in July.
``I pulled up noticeably and even [first base coach] Dave [McKay] asked me, `A little more effort?' '' Stewart said. ``I explained to him what happened, and he was like, `OK.' Trust me, I would have run hard my first time on a baseball field in eight months.''
That's as much of the irritation as the actual soreness in the leg.
``It felt so good and so bad at the same time,'' he said. ``I'm just glad it had nothing to do with the wrist and all the work I put in there, that that's OK. It is frustrating because we worked really hard in the off-season. But I don't think it's going to be anything too serious.
``We're going to take it easy for a couple days and get some treatment and go from there.''
As for the wrist, "it felt great," said Stewart, who batted just once in his first competitive at-bat since June 12.
``It's not nearly as good as your first hit in the big leagues, but you realize how much you can lose by being out there that long for an injury and stuff. I felt like it was my first year back in camp and playing in a big-league game again.
``Even though it was just spring training in an intrasquad, it was very important for me to come out and do that.''
VITTERS UPDATE: Infield/outfield prospect Josh Vitters, who was scratched from Friday's intrasquad game, also because of a quad strain, said he wasn't sure if an MRI was in his future.
His status is to be evaluated daily.
``It's just an annoying kind of thing,'' he said. ``It's still early. That's part of the reason everyone wants to be cautious. But I think I'll be fine with it.''