Cody Bellinger is the latest Chicago Cubs star to deal with health problems, suffering a rib injury Tuesday against the Houston Astros. While Bellinger initially didn't seem too concerned about the injury, Cubs manager Craig Counsell said Wednesday on 670 The Score that the star will go on the IL with a fractured rib.

Bellinger had said he wasn't too concerned about the issue after Tuesday's 7-2 victory, according to The Athletic's Sahadev Sharma.

“Honestly didn’t feel much at first,” Bellinger said. “As the innings went on, I started to get a little more uncomfortable. It was nothing serious. It’s a very dull pain, even now, which is a good sign. But at first, I didn’t feel anything.”

Bellinger had a busy game. After belting his fifth home run of the season in the first inning, he crashed into the Wrigley Field brick outfield wall on a Yanier Diaz double in the fourth inning. While he initially stayed in the game and took an at-bat in the fifth inning, Bellinger didn't come out for the seventh inning.

Counsell reported X-rays were negative after the game. Bellinger “pointed out that when he rotated on his swing he didn’t feel anything, but deep breaths were slightly painful,” per Sharma, and it appears this injury turned out to be worse than initially thought.

Cody Bellinger's 2024 season so far

Chicago Cubs outfielder Cody Bellinger (24) watches his two-run home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Wrigley Field.
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Cody Bellinger was a revelation for the Cubs last season after his shocking struggles with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which came after he won MVP in 2019. The 28-year-old re-signed with Chicago on a three-year, $80 million contract after an extended free agency. While he slumped a bit to start this season, he has been picking it up a bit more lately.

Bellinger is slashing .226/.320/.440 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 22 games. Last season, he slashed .307/.356/.525.

The Cubs are out to a 14-9 start this season, which has them right behind the Milwaukee Brewers at the top of the NL Central. It's an impressive mark given some of the adversity Chicago has already faced, including a number of key injuries and four blown saves by closer Adbert Alzolay. Now they're facing even more with this Bellinger injury.

Cubs' injury woes pile up

The Cubs got bit by the injury bug in the very first game of the season, losing ace Justin Steele to a hamstring issue he still hasn't returned from. Cody Bellinger's outfield mate Seiya Suzuki recently went down with an oblique strain that will keep him out several weeks. Longtime pitcher Kyle Hendricks was just placed on the IL after a brutal start to the season. Key starter Jameson Taillon just recently returned from an injury that forced him to miss the start of the season. There have been other injuries here and there on the roster.

Chicago is now facing another extended injury absence with Bellinger. While they've been able to weather these early health woes, these problems are adding up. Being without both Bellinger and Suzuki for an extended period is a tough blow to the lineup.

With Bellinger set to miss time, Pete Crow-Armstrong has been called up. PCA is one of the Cubs' prized prospects and had a cup of coffee in the big leagues last season, though he struggled at the plate.

“Counsell will use Crow-Armstrong when he sees fit in that equation. The focus isn't on forcing at-bats upon him just because he was promoted to big leagues,” per the manager's interview on 670 The Score.

Mike Tauchman and Alexander Canario are other players who will likely see increased playing time. Tauchman took over duties in center field after Bellinger exited Tuesday's game, while Canario entered the game in right. Tauchman hit a pair of home runs in the series-opening win over Houston.

Youngster Matt Mervis could see more at-bats as well after his recent call-up.