Russell expects to see game action next week

Russell expects to see game action next week

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs reliever James Russell, slowed because of a tired arm, threw off the mound on Saturday, and the lefty said he felt fine and should be ready for Cactus League games next week.

Russell didn't have any problems this offseason except for the winter weather.

"I got a little tired once I got out here," Russell said. "The weather was so bad in Texas, and I couldn't get out there every day. [I was throwing] every other day, and then coming out here and throwing every day kind of snuck up on me a little bit."

Russell, who has appeared in more than 70 games each of the last two seasons, said he needed one more side session before he'll be inserted into games.

"It was only four days," he said of the time he was sidelined. "I was cranked up, ready to go. All the long tossing went well and I feel strong."

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.