Outfielder Ian Happ is working his way back from a February surgery to clean up loose bodies in his right (throwing) elbow, Cubs president Jed Hoyer said Monday.
But Happ is aiming to be ready to go for the start of the season.
“He’s very confident he’ll be ready by Opening Day,” Hoyer said. "But he may not be in the field quite as much as usual right at the beginning."
Happ has shown no ill effects of the injury in batting practice in recent days, hitting home runs, and Hoyer said the elbow doesn’t bother him when he’s at the plate. He's progressing in a throwing program with a team trainer and "looks good" there, according to Hoyer.
MLB implemented a universal DH in the recent labor negotiations, an avenue to keep Happ's bat in the lineup.
"He wants to push the envelope," manager David Ross said. "He's smart. He's a veteran, he's been around a little bit, knows his body.
"There's a lot of confidence that in some form or fashion, he'll be ready for Opening Day."
In other injury news, Hoyer said infielder David Bote will start the season on the injured list and is expected to miss all of April. Bote underwent surgery last November on his left shoulder, which he injured during the 2021 season.
Beyond April, Hoyer said "we'll see."
Reliever Codi Heuer will miss all of 2022 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Contributing from Arizona: Gordon Wittenmyer