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Aramis Ramirez might be back for Cubs on Sunday

Cubs center fielder Tyler Colv(left) calls off Kosuke Fukudome make an eighth-inning catch Friday St. Louis. | Jeff Roberson~AP

Cubs center fielder Tyler Colvin (left) calls off Kosuke Fukudome to make an eighth-inning catch on Friday in St. Louis. | Jeff Roberson~AP

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Updated: July 8, 2011 3:40PM

ST. LOUIS — Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who has seven stitches on the inside of his lip, still had significant swelling Friday. He also had discomfort trying to eat and looked like he might have trouble getting back in the lineup this weekend against the St. Louis Cardinals — although manager Mike Quade held out hope for Sunday.

‘‘I’m not pretty anymore,’’ Ramirez joked through a sizeable fat upper lip. ‘‘It could be a lot worse.’’

Ramirez said the ground ball that hit him in the face Wednesday as he dove for it took a strange hop at the last moment and hit him flush in the mouth — though he wasn’t immediately sure where it got him as he pushed himself up and looked down.

‘‘I knew I was hurt pretty bad because I was bleeding a lot,’’ he said. ‘‘I just didn’t know where, because I couldn’t feel anything at the time.’’

Ramirez said it’s the first time in his life he’s had to have stitches for any kind of cut.

Rookie DJ LeMahieu, who made his major-league debut Monday, got his first big-league start Friday in Ramirez’s place.

More Kosuke

All the injuries have taken some of the platoon out of Kosuke Fukudome’s role. He led off Friday against a left-hander for the first time and it was just his second start overall versus a lefty.

‘‘At some point, circumstances are what they are,’’ Quade said. ‘‘We’ve had some fun kicking stuff around, and we’re about out of fun now. It’s time to take the most experienced guy, and put a good defense on the field.’’

It’s been out-of-fun time since the end of April for Fukudome, who followed a .383 April with a .247 May, continuing a career trend.


Matt Garza (elbow bone bruise) threw ‘‘really well’’ in a bullpen session Friday and could be activated from the disabled list to start Monday’s series opener in Cincinnati, Quade said.

Alfonso Soriano (quadriceps) and Jeff Baker (groin) headed to the club’s rehab/training facility in Arizona as the rest of the team went on the road. Both are targeting returns during the next homestand.

◆ Minor-league pitchers Jeff Stevens and Robert Coello both cleared waivers after being removed from the Cubs’ 40-man roster and were reassigned to Class AAA Iowa and Class AA Tennessee, respectively.

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