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MLB: Cubs scratch RHP Darvish, 2B Kipnis with illness

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Yu Darvish motions as he works against a Milwaukee Brewers batter during the first inning of a spring training baseball game, on Feb. 29, 2020, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- The Chicago Cubs scratched right-hander Yu Darvish and second baseman Jason Kipnis on Thursday because of illness.

    In a series of tweets in Japanese, Darvish said he had a cough Wednesday and expressed reluctance about entering the clubhouse amid the coronavirus outbreak, but he then posted that he didn't have a fever or the flu.

    Theo Epstein, the president of baseball operations for the Cubs, said he didn't have "full information right now," but it was his understanding it was a daily illness. The team said later in the day that Darvish was feeling better and could work three innings as soon as Friday, possibly in a simulated game.

    Kipnis was seen in the clubhouse before Chicago's 5-0 spring training loss to Texas.

    The Cubs also scratched first baseman Anthony Rizzo due to a blister on his right middle finger.

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