By Paul LaTour
Another day, another Cubs player down with the bug.
The latest victim of the virus is third baseman Ian Stewart, who is out of the lineup Sunday for the series finale against the Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
Hes down and out today, manager Dale Sveum said prior to the game. Its just one of those unfortunate things that a lot of teams deal with in the course of the year. It happens to be going through us now.
On Saturday, Sveum said the virus likely started with Scott Maine when the Cubs played in Philadelphia during the end of April. Since then, several Cubs have been struck.
The most notable victim to date is pitcher Matt Garza, who was scratched from todays start after being pushed back from Saturday. Garza was in the clubhouse Sunday and said he feels fine, but Sveum said he wont pitch until Fridays series opener in Milwaukee.
Jeff Baker is also out of the lineup due to the virus.
It hasnt been a one-day thing with anybody Sveum said. Its been guys who are just completely down and out.
The rest of the players are doing their best to avoid coming down with it. But what exactly can be done with a nasty virus when players are always in such close quarters?
As bad as these guys have been, you try to keep them away from the ballpark, Sveum said. Thats hard to do when they need to get treatment, medicine and all that stuff. The best you do is you dont shake hands, you dont let them breathe on you or whatever.
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Just when you think the Bulls are back at full strength for one of the few times this season and able to hit the reset button halfway through the year, someone goes down with an injury.
Taj Gibson will miss Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks with a left ankle injury that he apparently suffered Sunday night in the Bulls’ win against Memphis.
This comes on the day Nikola Mirotic has recovered from his strep throat and apparently the flu bug that made its way through the locker room has finally run its course.
Paul Zipser, the Bulls’ rookie second-round pick, will start in Gibson’s place. Zipser has played in 12 games so far, starting in two of them.
"It's something that kind of popped up,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I don't know exactly the time. He did have a little bit of soreness in the game. Again, it's not to the point where you're saying this is something that holds him out a while.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
Gibson did have ankle surgery on his left ankle in June 2015, but he’s been an iron man this year, starting every game to this point and averaging 12 points with 7.3 rebounds.
Hoiberg said he’s not sure if Gibson will need an MRI or if this injury is somehow related to the ankle surgery that cost Gibson several months in the 2015 offseason.
It seems Hoiberg will start off with Zipser and then use Mirotic and Bobby Portis as reserves against the Mavericks team that gave the Bulls a 25-point whipping in Dallas on Dec. 3, their second-worst loss of the year.
“Again, we hope to sit him tonight, have a couple days off to rest and get him back in the lineup in the next one,” Hoiberg said. “We felt it was best to hold him out tonight."