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CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Cubs pitcher Alec Mills left Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox due to lower back pain after throwing just seven pitches.

The Cubs said the right-hander is undergoing further evaluation.

The 30-year-old Mills (0-1, 9.87 ERA) struck out Jarren Duran and left after allowing a double to Rafael Devers.

Mark Leiter Jr. came in and struck out J.D. Martinez and got Xander Bogaerts to fly out, ending the inning.

Mills was activated June 7 from the 60-day injured list for a right quadriceps strain.

___

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Eagles Update Jason Kelces Elbow Injury & Return Timeline

Getty Jason Kelce was one of 12 Eagles players to hit the Reserve/COVID-19 list prior to the 2021 playoffs.

Nick Sirianni was slow to sit down at the podium after Wednesday’s training camp practice. The Philadelphia Eagles head coach was suffering from a “little back thing” but he joked about needing an elbow scope.

Sirianni was referencing Jason Kelce’s recent surgery, the one that will sideline the All-Pro center until at least Week 1. Obviously, the follow-up questions were in regard to Kelce and the timeline for his return. The details are scant, although optimistic.

“I don’t ever put a timetable on anybody as you guys know. We’re hopeful,” Sirianni told reporters. “How many? 122 games in a row he’s played? If he’s close, the track record says that he’s going to be ready to go. But I’m never going to put a timetable on anybody.”

Head coach Nick Sirianni thinking “one to two series” for the starters in preseason opener vs Jets, but not yet finalized.#FlyEaglesFly

— Dave Spadaro (@EaglesInsider) August 10, 2022

Kelce (yes, he has started 122 straight regular-season games) had been playing through “discomfort” in his elbow throughout camp, according to Sirianni. Team doctors, with guidance from the Kelce and the coaching staff, decided to go under the knife.

“We were in a situation where he had some discomfort in there and we have time to handle that so he can play this season,” Sirianni said. “You know, he’s going to have to go through things during the season, other things, so something that the doctors, and Jason, and myself felt comfortable to get it cleaned out, and be ready for the long haul ahead. And Jason Kelce’s the toughest guy I’ve ever been around, by far. And so, I’m glad we’re able to do that so he can play with less pain.”

Nick Sirianni gives an update on Jason Kelce. #EaglesCamp | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/BjUA3SMVHX

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 10, 2022

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Cam Jurgens Ready to Take First-Team Snaps

Cam Jurgens was taking first-team snaps at center for a second straight day. He’ll be the starter there in the first preseason game on Friday night. It’ll be his job for the rest of camp, or until Kelce is back for good. Sirianni has full confidence in the rookie out of Nebraska. Why? Because he’s seen growth and development all summer.

“I’ve seen him be like a sponge around Jason,” Sirianni said. “There are times out there – hey listen, there’s only one Jason Kelce – but there are times out there he’s doing something where it’s like, ‘Whoa, that kind of looks like Jason.’ And so, Cam’s done a nice job of picking everything up.”

"He's a great leader." –@CameronJurgens on Jason Kelce.#EaglesCamp | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/Z5JejwcQBX

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 10, 2022

Jurgens called Kelce a “good dude” and “great leader” who has been his loudest sounding board. He’s ready to hold down the fort until the Eagles’ fearless leader returns.

“Just trying to get better every day, focus on the little things,” Jurgens said, “and more or less the thing I’m trying to focus on, you know I got supreme faith and confidence in the guys to the right and left of me. You know, earn that respect and get that confidence from them and me.”

"He's a great leader." –@CameronJurgens on Jason Kelce.#EaglesCamp | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/Z5JejwcQBX

— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 10, 2022

Sirianni Says How Long Starters Will Play

The worst kept secret at Eagles camp is no longer under wraps. Sirianni said he’s “thinking” the starters will play a series or two against the New York Jets. The head coach could conceivably change his mind prior to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Sitting them is not out of the question.

“Don’t have to make a final decision obviously until they go out there,” Sirianni said. “We’re thinking one to two series with the starters.”

Starters probably not playing on Friday, if I’m reading between the lines. But “we’ll see” is the company line. #Eagles #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/9pov47CQNz

— Michael Greger (@mike_greger) August 9, 2022

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman and defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon also have a say on how long the starters will play.

“We kind of evaluate all the way up until the day before the game what we’re going to do with Howie [Roseman] and the head coach,” Gannon said. “I want to do whatever we decide is best for the team.”

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