Cubs’ Lester could be close to return after simulated game

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              Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester (34) leaves the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 8, 2019, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David Banks)
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CHICAGO (AP) — Cubs ace Jon Lester could be close to rejoining Chicago’s rotation after pitching a simulated game.

Lester threw 45 pitches Saturday. Manager Joe Maddon says he looked “very good,” and the Cubs will see how he feels Sunday before determining the next step. Maddon did not rule out a return for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field that starts Tuesday.

Lester strained his left hamstring running the bases April 8 against Pittsburgh.

Closer Brandon Morrow experienced discomfort following a side session in Arizona earlier in the week and is shutting down his rehabilitation for now. He had elbow surgery in November after missing the second half of last season.

There is no timetable for his return.