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'Upbeat' Soler committed to returning in 2015

Rookie right fielder could start swinging a bat again on Friday

CHICAGO -- If all goes well, Jorge Soler could resume swinging a bat on Friday in hopes of returning to action before the Cubs' season ends.

The rookie outfielder went on the disabled list Aug. 24 with a left oblique strain, which he actually injured two days earlier. Soler said he felt something on his left side on Aug. 22, when he made a throw to second base in the sixth after the Braves' Andrelton Simmons had singled to right. But the pain wasn't enough for Soler to come out of the game.

Soler started in right on Aug. 23, and he was pulled from the game after he made a throw home on Nick Swisher's RBI single.

"I'm real disappointed," Soler said Wednesday, through coach Franklin Font. "It's the second time I've been on the disabled list. I believe I can be back."

Soler also was on the DL from June 3-July 5 with a sprained left ankle, and he has played in 90 games.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he talked to the rookie on Tuesday.

"He was very upbeat," Maddon said. "Losing [Soler] at this moment was not very good. We've done a nice job of trying to fix it up a little bit."

Chicago acquired outfielder Austin Jackson from Seattle on Monday, and he started in right field on Wednesday. There's no timetable for Soler's return, but the Cubs only have 30 games remaining in the regular season.

Chicago made a concerted effort in Spring Training to strengthen Soler's legs, because he'd had problems in the Minor Leagues.

"I'm not ready to label him as accident-prone or injury-prone," Maddon said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast.
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