Cubs' Anthony Rizzo: Hoping to return Friday

Manager Joe Maddon said he hopes Rizzo (back) will be ready to rejoin the lineup Friday against the Nationals, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.

Rizzo is out of the lineup for a fourth straight game Thursday, though he did some hitting during pregame and is reportedly feeling better. According to Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, while Maddon is encouraged by Rizzo's chances at returning over the weekend, the manager wasn't certain the first baseman would be ready for Friday's series opener. "I'm encouraged for this weekend. Tomorrow would be great, but I'm not 100 percent sure," Maddon said. In the meantime, Victor Caratini is starting at first base in place of Rizzo on Thursday.

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