Cubs shut down RF Jason Heyward and RHP Keegan Thompson for the seasonRussell Dorseyon September 28, 2021 at 11:42 pm

PITTSBURGH — Right fielder Jason Heyward has been battling a concussion for the last two weeks and as he tries to recover, manager David Ross announced before Tuesday’s game that Heyward’s 2021 season is officially over.

Heyward has been on the seven-day concussion injured list since Sept. 11 after taking an inadvertent knee in the side of the head from Giants’ shortstop Brandon Crawford sliding into third base.

The Cubs’ right fielder traveled with the team to Pittsburgh and met with a local concussion specialist, who also helped Ross when he went through his bout with concussions in his career.

“He came today and there’s a specialist here that I’ve seen, [Michael] “Mickey” Collins, who does phenomenal work,” Ross said. “Saw him today. Really good feedback. He’s got a plan moving forward. I think he got a lot of information today and I think everyday has been better. I think he got a good rehab setup today from Mickey and I think that’ll be really good for him to bounce back pretty fast.”

The Cubs’ right-fielder had been dealing with some of the more serious side effects of his concussion, including nausea and dizziness. Those symptoms have subsided as the weeks have gone, but there have been some lingering effects that he is still dealing with as he tries to .

“I think [there are still] small symptoms, but I think that’s part of the process to get back,” Ross said. “It’s gotten better every single day. Sleeping better. Headaches, dizziness and fatigue is all kind of waning towards being non-existent.

“I know I talked with the trainers about today went, but I haven’t talked to him specifically. I’ve got a lot of questions, just because I know what that routine he had to go through today is like. I want to see what some of his thoughts and feelings [were] after going through that.”

Heyward finishes the season slashing .214/.280/.347 with eight homers and 30 RBIs in 104 games.

Heyward wasn’t the only player who’s season officially came to an end on Tuesday as the team decided to shut down right-hander Keegan Thompson and placed him on the 10-day injured list.

Thompson went on the IL with the same injury earlier this month before returning on Sept. 19 against Milwaukee. But following his most recent start on Sunday, the shoulder didn’t respond like the team would have hoped.”

“He’s got a little bit of some shoulder stuff. After that last start, just a little bit of soreness,” Ross said. “I think we’ll probably err on the side of caution and shut him down.”

It wasn’t a smooth transition for Thompson after pitching successfully in the team’s bullpen during the first half. He had a 7.11 ERA in five second-half starts and struggled with his command. But he closed his season on a high, striking out a career-high seven batters on Sunday – giving him something positive to go into the offseason with.

“Being able to talk to him today and just knowing that was going to be it, I thought there was a lot of power in there,” Ross said. “For him to go out and prove himself, knowing where he was, listen to some of the things he was going through mentally was very eye opening. And proving to himself that, ‘I can have success as a reliever and I can have success as a starter’.

“I thought it was really good stuff he showed his last start and to get him back to throwing the baseball the way we believe he can and going into the offseason with that confidence is huge for us.”

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