President of baseball operations Theo Epstein said Monday that Barnette (shoulder) is close to beginning a rehab assignment, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.

Barnette had already resumed mound work at the conclusion of spring training, so he's presumably advanced to facing hitters in live batting practice at this stage of his recovery. The Cubs should map out of a rehab assignment for the reliever in the coming days, with Barnette likely to require at least two appearances in the minors before returning from the 10-day injured list.

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