Uehara nearing return after knee infection

Cubs to start Lackey, Hendricks, Quintana in weekend series vs. Cardinals

Uehara nearing return after knee infection

CHICAGO -- Cubs reliever Koji Uehara has not pitched since Sept. 2 because of an infection in his right knee, but he threw a simulated game on Wednesday and may be able to return to action by Friday.

Uehara has thrown two bullpen sessions prior to the sim game. He struggled in August, giving up six earned runs over 7 1/3 innings in nine games for a 7.36 ERA.

The Cubs aren't sure when right-hander Jake Arrieta will return either. Arrieta has played catch twice since he had to leave his Sept. 4 start because of a right hamstring strain, but no bullpen session has been scheduled yet. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said they will not have a good feel for a timetable regarding Arrieta until he does throw a bullpen.

Arrieta exits with an injury

There was a slim chance Arrieta could have returned this weekend against the Cardinals, but instead the rotation will be John Lackey on Friday, Kyle Hendricks on Saturday and Jose Quintana on Sunday.

Worth noting

• Shortstop Addison Russell, sidelined since Aug. 3 with a strained right foot, was able to run the bases on Wednesday and hit in the batting cages. There is no change in the timeline for his return, but he has been able to increase baseball activities.

• The Brewers will get three more home games following Major League Baseball's decision to move their series against the Marlins from Miami to Miller Park this weekend. Miami is trying to recover from Hurricane Irma.

"Obviously, something had to be done. I have no issues with it," Maddon said of the switch. "The situation being as severe as it is, it's no time to quibble over situations like this. You're getting into the latter part of the season, and whatever [Major League Baseball] thinks is fine. It's about making sure the games are played."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.