- Associated Press - Thursday, August 11, 2016

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago Cubs reliever Pedro Strop will be sidelined four to six weeks with a torn meniscus in his left knee.

The right-hander will undergo arthroscopic surgery Friday after getting hurt fielding a grounder in the eighth inning of Wednesday’s victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

“It’s never fun not having him around, but it could have been worse,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Thursday. “We’re going to get him back and that’s a good thing.”

Strop was placed on the 15-day disabled list and right-hander Justin Grimm was recalled from Triple-A Iowa. With reliever Hector Rondon also sidelined with a triceps injury, the NL Central-leading Cubs will have to shuffle bullpen roles ahead of closer Aroldis Chapman.

“It will give more opportunity to different guys, particularly Joe Smith is going to be the guy that is utilized more because of it,” Maddon said. “Grimm has his strongpoints, too, that we can utilize. We’re still waiting to hear from Hector to see exactly when he’s going to be available.”

The 31-year-old Strop, who has a 2.89 ERA in 50 appearances this season, bolted off the mound and slid in front of third baseman Javier Baez to field Yunel Escobar’s slow roller.

“Adrenaline took over for me to slide and I kind of got stuck in the grass,” Strop said, while leaning on crutches in the clubhouse.

Baez hugged Strop so he wouldn’t throw to first, and Strop said the doctor told him it could have been worse if he did try to wheel and throw.

“I appreciate Javy holding me,” he said.

The timetable calls for Strop to return toward the end of the regular season and be ready for the playoffs.

“It was a horrible feeling. I was almost crying just thinking that I might be out for the season,” Strop said. “This is a really special group that I want to be part of in the playoffs and World Series if we get there.”

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