CHICAGO -- Ian Stewart is hoping this time, the cortisone shot works.
The Cubs third baseman had his left wrist examined Monday at the Cleveland Clinic, and the doctors confirmed the Chicago medical staff's diagnosis that there was nothing structurally wrong. But the doctors at the clinic did show Stewart that he has an impingement between a couple of bones in his hand, which may be pinching the ligaments and causing the discomfort.
"My options now are just to see if this cortisone works and give it four, five days when I'm on the [disabled list] to really let it sink in and work and then slowly get a program going off the tee," Stewart said Wednesday. "If the shot works, then it'll carry me through the season and maybe get another one in another six weeks or so. If it doesn't, then we may have to go the other route. We're just going to see how it feels."
The other route is one Stewart is hoping to avoid, which is surgery. The Cleveland Clinic doctors told Stewart that other ballplayers have had a procedure done, but he'd like to avoid it.
Stewart injured his left wrist in 2006 on a defensive play, dealt with it, and then aggravated it last August while hitting.
This time, the cortisone was injected into a different spot than other doctors have tried, and Stewart is hoping that helps. He will not do any baseball activities until this weekend, when he hopes to resume hitting off a batting tee.
Will he have to deal with discomfort the rest of the year?
"Hopefully not," Stewart said. "Hopefully, this works and I start playing again and hitting and it's really a non-issue. If it gets to the point where it's affecting my swing still, there are other options we can take, and hopefully we don't have to take that route."
This is his second cortisone shot. He also received one before the Cubs left for a 10-game trip on June 1.
"It's getting annoying," Stewart said. "It's frustrating. It seems like every time I go in, [doctors say] 'Let's give it a shot, and that should work.' It's definitely been something hard for me to deal with. It seems like the needle is a quick fix, and it hasn't been that way. Hopefully, this time it works and I get past this and we move on."