Clevenger suffers oblique injury on last playContinue reading.
Clevenger out 6 weeks with left oblique strain
Cubs catcher/infielder Steve Clevenger knew immediately he had badly injured his left oblique when he swung and struck out to end Saturday’s game against the Giants.
“I knew exactly what it was,” he said Sunday. “It felt like someone had stuck a knife in my side. The reason I didn’t get up right away was I couldn’t catch my breath.”
The strain will mean Clevenger –who suffered the same type of strain on his right side last season –will miss at least six weeks.
“They told me six weeks last time, too, but I came back in about four to five,” he said. “It’s definitely frustrating because I worked my butt off this winter to get in shape and strong and this happens.”
Clevenger strained his right oblique last season during a batting practice swing.
“The muscle there is so thin, you have to let it recover,” he said of prescribed extended rest. “It’s definitely frustrating, but at the same time I’m determined not to let it get me. I’ll do my work and be ready to come back.
“It was just a freak accident,” he said, adding he had warmed up and stretched as usual before the pinch hit at-bat.
“[Cold] weather may be a factor, but really it’s just a freak accident,” he said. “It’s different than a strained quad.”
The Cubs will wait until Tuesday to put Clevenger on the disabled list because second baseman Darwin Barney returns from his injury rehab that day for the three-game series against the Texas Rangers.
But not having Clevenger, a lefthanded hitter, will impact how manager Dale Sveum uses his bench.
“The bench was able to work correctly with three catchers, and two of them lefthanded and [Dioner] Navarro a switch hitter,” Sveum said. “It’s very unfortunate because [Clevenger] came into spring in great shape and worked hard, and then to have something that violent happen.”
Sveum said he will have to be “choosier” about using Navarro in a pinch hitting role as the only backup catcher now. “Or tell [Welington] Castillo `don’t get hurt,’ ” he said.