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Cubs activate Rizzo to face Cardinals

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- First baseman Anthony Rizzo was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and back in the Cubs lineup for the start of a two-game series against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

"Definitely the last three or four days for sure [I've been ready]," Rizzo said Tuesday. "I've been swinging a little harder, ramping it up, trying to take as close to game swings as I could. I think being smart with it, hopefully this is the end of it."

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CHICAGO -- First baseman Anthony Rizzo was activated from the disabled list on Tuesday and back in the Cubs lineup for the start of a two-game series against the Cardinals at Wrigley Field.

"Definitely the last three or four days for sure [I've been ready]," Rizzo said Tuesday. "I've been swinging a little harder, ramping it up, trying to take as close to game swings as I could. I think being smart with it, hopefully this is the end of it."

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Rizzo has been sidelined since April 6 because of stiffness in his lower back. He already had an exercise routine but has added some more exercises as part of what he called a maintenance program.

"[I have to] do a little more stretching, a little more maintenance before I get going and do my workouts and whatnot to make sure my body is nice and loose," Rizzo said.

He's not going to cut back on his pregame hitting or work on the field.

"I have a pretty simple routine when it comes to hitting and taking grounders," Rizzo said. "If I do any less, I'd probably just have to stop doing anything."

The Cubs sent first baseman Efren Navarro back to Triple-A Iowa to make room on the active roster for Rizzo. Navarro was 1-for-6 in four games, and subbed at first base for four innings on Saturday. The Cubs also have had Victor Caratini, Ben Zobrist and Kris Bryant start at first base in Rizzo's absence.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo