President of baseball operations Theo Epstein acknowledged Saturday that Morrow (elbow) is unlikely to be ready to pitch when the 2019 season begins, 670 The Score Chicago reports. "If you asked [Morrow], he'd probably say he's going to be ready for Opening Day," Epstein said. "But, probably, that's unrealistic. If we do the right thing and build him up slowly, he'll probably miss it by a few weeks. But we'll see."

Epstein noted that while Morrow is progressing as anticipated in his rehab from Nov. 6 arthroscopic surgery for his throwing elbow, the 34-year-old won't be ready for the start of spring training. He could be ready for mound work by the time the Cactus League season winds down, but since he'll be behind the rest of his fellow pitchers, Morrow may need some additional rehab time. Once healthy, Morrow, who posted a 1.47 ERA and went 22-for-24 in his save opportunities last season, should serve as the Cubs' primary closer, but the team could take a committee approach to the ninth inning while they await his return.

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