Castro, Lillibridge close to returning from injuries

MESA, Ariz. -- Starlin Castro and Brent Lillibridge could both be back in the Cubs lineup on Wednesday, with Ian Stewart and Josh Vitters close to returning as well.

Castro has been sidelined with a tight left hamstring, and Lillibridge has a sore groin. Both were injured Feb. 27, and Friday's rain delayed some of the rehab work they were to do. The two were able to run on a back field on Saturday.

The Cubs have an off-day Tuesday before resuming play Wednesday against the Rockies.

Stewart and Vitters both have been sidelined since Feb. 21 with sore left quads, and both were able to run on Saturday. They could return at the end of the week.

The Cubs nearly added another name to the list when second baseman Darwin Barney landed awkwardly on his right shoulder trying to grab a line drive on Friday against the Reds. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said Barney was all right.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for 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.