Cubs reliever Brandon Kintzler credited Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo with inspiring him to make an early return from injury. (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Cubs reliever Brandon Kintzler credited Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo with inspiring him to make an early return from injury. (Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

Cubs News: Brandon Kintzler makes early return from injury, cites Anthony Rizzo as his inspiration


by - Senior Writer -

CHICAGO — Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo made a shocking return to the lineup on Thursday, as he was expected to miss most, if not all, of the rest of the regular season with a severe ankle sprain suffered this past Sunday. Mere days after donning a walking boot, Rizzo started at first base and batted leadoff for the Cubs.

Rizzo hammered a solo home run in the Cubs' 5-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field, but there were a few defensive instances that made it obvious that Rizzo's ankle was still aching. Rizzo discussed his early return from injury with the media after the game and referenced New York Knicks legend Willis Reed, who is famous for playing through a serious injury.

Similarly, ailing Cubs reliever Brandon Kintzler cited Rizzo as his inspiration for returning to action on Friday. Skipping a bullpen session so that he rejoin the Cubs' bullpen a day or two earlier than he was slated to, Kintzler told the media that Rizzo inspired him to want to resume pitching as quickly as possible. Kintzler has not pitched in 10 days because of a strained oblique, but he is active for Friday's Cardinals-Cubs tilt at the Friendly Confines.

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