"I'm hoping to pick up a baseball by then," Morrow said Wednesday morning. "I haven't been throwing. There is a little bit of soreness left, but it's going in the right direction. Each day it's been better."
Morrow has been out since experiencing soreness before the All-Star break. He claims the pain is a "fraction" of what it was and is confident it won't be an issue which lingers once he returns. He's just one of several walking wounded for the first place Cubs as it's Morrow's second stint on the DL. He previously hurt his back while taking off his pants.
"He's progressing," manager Joe Maddon said. "Still feeling something in there. I want to be patient with that so when he does come back this time we don't have any more setbacks."
Also hurting is third baseman Kris Bryant, who's struggled with a left shoulder injury over the course of several months. He's out of the lineup again on Wednesday after missing Tuesday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Maddon didn't rule out a second DL stint due to the shoulder.
"Can't say it's impossible," he stated. "Everything is in play right now. ... I don't have anything long term positively or negatively right now."
The Cubs will play shorthanded on Wednesday but are hopeful Javier Baez is available mid-game. He left Tuesday's contest after taking the brunt of a hard slide by Steven Souza on a tag play at second base. He was seen testing his left knee in the outfield before the game.
Meanwhile, starter Yu Darvish (elbow) is scheduled to be back on the mound for a bullpen session this weekend when the team plays in St. Louis. There is no timetable for his return.
The injury news is one reason the Cubs are on the phones looking for pitching help before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. The organization wasn't able to acquire help in the form of Zach Britton or Nathan Eovaldi, both of whom were traded in the last 24 hours.
"Marquee names are nice names but sometimes there's others that are very useful too so we'll see how it all plays out," Maddon said. "We still have a couple days but I do believe the guys are going to get after it somehow."
Cubs' reliever Jesse Chavez is a good example of a smaller name the team picked up recently. He's retired all 12 batters he's faced, leading Maddon to consider him in closing situations while Morrow is down.