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Russell progressing, nearing return to Cubs

Shortstop works out with no issues before Tuesday's game
Special to MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Cubs shortstop Addison Russell said on Tuesday that he is "climbing the ladder" in his recovery from a strained right foot and is starting the countdown to a return to action.

"I think two weeks is too long," Russell said prior to the series opener against the Reds. "I would say a week and a half at the most."

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CINCINNATI -- Cubs shortstop Addison Russell said on Tuesday that he is "climbing the ladder" in his recovery from a strained right foot and is starting the countdown to a return to action.

"I think two weeks is too long," Russell said prior to the series opener against the Reds. "I would say a week and a half at the most."

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Russell worked out in front of the team's medical staff on Tuesday afternoon. Russell took ground balls and said he was able to move well laterally, noting, "It's starting to feel like my normal foot."

"He made our trainers happy," manager Joe Maddon said.

Russell last played on Aug 2. His replacement, Javier Baez, has been spectacular at times, but Maddon has insisted Russell will retain his starting job when he returns.

"He's been great out there," Russell said of Baez.

Baez entered the series opener hitting .268 with an .808 OPS, 20 home runs and 59 RBIs in 354 at-bats. Russell is hitting .241 with a .722 OPS, 10 homers and 36 RBIs in 319 at-bats.

Andrew Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Chicago Cubs, Addison Russell, Ben Zobrist