Kyle Schwarber joins Cubs Radio 670
(CBS) As the Cubs have thrived with the best record in baseball through the initial one-third of the season, second-year slugger Kyle Schwarber has watched on and supported his teammates.
Schwarber suffered a season-ending knee injury during the first week of the season and has been working along with a rehabilitation process. Along the way, he has been a clubhouse presence with the Cubs.
"If I can do one thing every day just to keep them up, it's well worth it," Schwarber said in an interview with Mark Grote of Cubs Radio 670.
The 23-year-old Schwarber is walking again, but it hasn't come easily. That's just the first step of regaining strength in his knee.
Working through rehab and not baseball has been challenging for Schwarber. There's still a lot of work to be done for him to reach a full recovery as he works back from an ACL tear and LCL tear in his left knee.
"I still got a lot of time to go," Schwarber said. "I am walking, but I still have to do a lot of things right with my knee still. There's going to be a long road, but I'm going to work as hard as I can to get back as soon as I can and be ready for when that time comes.
"It's been tough. I'm a little sore right now, just from walking around. I haven't walked yet. It's like retraining yourself all over again. But it could be a lot worse. I am thankful for every day. I'm taking it day by day and going from there."
Watching the Cubs' early season success has been enjoyable for Schwarber, though he certainly wishes that he could be contributing.
Schwarber broke onto the scene in his rookie season of 2015 with 16 homers and 43 RBIs in 69 regular-season games, then made his mark in the postseason with a Cubs playoff record five home runs, including a memorable shot onto the right-field video board at Wrigley Field.
In missing out on the 2016 season, Schwarber has managed to keep a positive perspective.
"There's going to be some ups and downs in this rehab," Schwarber said. "But I'm blessed to get to be here. I get to watch these boys play every day and cheer them on it's been a lot of fun.
"I just try to put myself in that spot, seeing homers fly out. But whenever these guys do hit homers, you see these guys out there competing every day, it's a lot of fun for me. There's a lot of appreciation you put into the game when you're not playing. Watching these guys play every day, you see them grind, go out and battle every day, it's a lot of fun."
Schwarber's day begins often at 7:30 a.m. He's in the hot tub for knee treatment by 8 a.m., and the regimen begins at 8:30. There are long, grueling days, but it's all a part of his recovery process.
Then, Schwarber joins the Cubs in the dugout and roots them on as one of the team's biggest fans. He's eager to rejoin them on the field.
"I plan to make a full recovery and come back bigger, faster, stronger," he said. "I'm going to keep cheering these boys on every day. Hopefully, I'll be back helping this team win again."
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