Cubs shortstop Addison Russell will miss the game against the New York Mets

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Addison Russell suffered a strained left hamstring and will not be able to play against the New York Mets.

Thursday afternoon during a workout at Wrigley Field, Cubs manager Joe Maddon said “He’s not going to push it right now,” and he also said “Let’s go on a normal pace with the training staff. Hopefully, if everything plays properly and we have another opportunity to play in another round, he might be available at that time, but for sure not this one.”

According to Maddon this Thursday, Jon Lester will be starting the series opener Saturday night, and Jake Arrieta will start Game 2 on Sunday. Lester is 6-5 with a 2.66 ERA in 15 career postseason games, including 13 starts.

During Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Cardinals Russell left when he felt a tightness in his left hamstring. According to Maddon, it is a moderate strain, and the Cubs will be discreet about it.

If a player is on a playoff roster, but gets injured during the mid-series, and has to be replaced, by rule, that player is not allowed to be back on the roster for the next round. In this case, Russell’s “moderate” hamstring injury will keep him from playing in the NLCS, this because the Cubs didn’t want to take the risk of being caught short-handed or losing Russell for the duration of the playoffs.

“This permits us to put it on a more planned situation regarding his rehab, and then we’ll work it out from there,” Maddon communicated. “I think he was relieved in a sense so he didn’t have to push it right now.”

Javier Baez, a 2011 first-round pick, will be Russell’s backup in the lineup. He’s a player who can work as second, shortstop or third base, and also has a swing that he’s been working on while spending most of the season in the minors. Russell has been starting since he was called up in April, while Baez came along in September.

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