<
>

Cubs' Dexter Fowler eyeing first All-Star Game, but goal is health

CHICAGO - While the Chicago Cubs hope injured outfielder Dexter Fowler can play in his first All-Star Game next week, their bigger concern is getting him healthy for the second half of the season.

Fowler has been out of the lineup since injuring his right hamstring on June 18.

"He wants to play in the All-Star Game," manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday morning. "Don't anyone fault him for that. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And I'm all for it. Let's see how this plays the rest of the weekend, but the overriding concern is that he plays for us the rest of the year."

Fowler was eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday but wasn't deemed ready. On Tuesday he was elected to start his first All-Star Game, July 12.

The plan, according to Maddon, is for Fowler to play a couple days in the minors later this week then play in the All-Star Game and be activated after the break. If he can't go on a rehab assignment by the weekend, then he would probably miss the All-Star Game.

"We have a potential plan in regards to when he'll be available," Maddon said. "We have to know something by Thursday or Friday. The next two days will tell if he can participate or not.

"It's just how the leg reacts. When he comes back, whether it's this week, All-Star Game or after the break, he'll still have to be guarded when he runs."

Maddon didn't rule anything out, including Fowler playing this weekend for the Cubs in Pittsburgh, though that's doubtful.

The Cubs are 6-11 since Fowler was injured.