Justin Steele

Justin Steele takes step forward in hamstring injury recovery

NBC Universal, Inc.

Chicago Cubs ace Justin Steele took an important step forward in his recovery from a left hamstring injury he suffered on Opening Day against the Texas Rangers.

Steele, who was injured in the fifth inning of the start while fielding a ground ball, threw live batting practice at Wrigley Field before the Cubs’ series finale against the Miami Marlins.

Following the game, manager Craig Counsell announced that Steele would be headed to Arizona for extended spring training work at the team’s facility in Mesa.

“It was great. Everything went well,” he said. “The next step will be a stint in Arizona in extended. Game action, essentially. That will happen on Friday.”

It is unclear whether Steele will require an additional rehab start at the minor league level before returning to the team’s rotation.

Steele posted a 16-5 record with a 3.06 ERA in 30 starts last season, striking out 176 batters in 173.1 innings of work.

He gave up one earned run in his Opening Day start against Texas, with six strikeouts and one walk in 4.2 innings.

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