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Flu virus has Cubs taking precautions

CHICAGO -- With any Chicago Cubs victory in the near future, don’t expect the on-field celebration to be very involved.

With four players stricken with a nasty flu-like virus in the last week alone, the Cubs would like to make sure things get better before getting worse. High-fives and hand shakes figure to be at a minimum.

“As bad as these guys have been, you try to keep [the sick players] away from the ballpark. But that’s hard to do and they need to get treatment and medicine and all that stuff,” manager Dale Sveum said. “The best you do is stay away from each other, don’t shake hands or let them breathe on you or whatever.”

At that point, Sveum chuckled. It wasn’t an I’m-just-kidding chuckle, but more of a sad-but-true kind of forced laugh.

Ian Stewart was the latest to become ill. He was out of the lineup Sunday, replaced at third base by Joe Mather. Matt Garza, Jeff Baker and Scott Maine, who has since been sent back to Triple-A Iowa, have also become ill.

It couldn't have been reassuring that players were cooped up in the cramped Wrigley Field clubhouse Sunday to wait out a rain delay of more than 2 1/2 hours at the outset.

“It’s one of those tough things that teams go through and we’re going through it right now,” Sveum said.