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The Chicago Cubs were hit with another rotation injury on Friday, which may clear a path for veteran right-hander Kyle Hendricks to return to a starting role. 

In the second inning of Friday's eventual 3-0 loss to the visiting Cardinals, Cubs lefty starter Jordan Wicks experienced apparent discomfort during a pitch to Dylan Carlson. After a trainer and manager Craig Counsell met with him on the mound, Wicks departed. Counsell later told the Marquee Network during an in-game interview that Wicks had exited because of an oblique injury. After the game, Counsell told reporters that Wicks would likely be going on the injured list and that he would be replaced in the rotation by Hendricks. 

Wicks on Friday had been making his first appearance for the Cubs since April 23, when he went down with a forearm strain. Counting Friday's abbreviated outing, the 24-year-old Wicks this season has pitched to a 4.18 ERA across six starts and one relief appearance for the Cubs with 32 strikeouts in 28 innings. 

As for Hendricks, the 34-year-old was demoted to the bullpen on May 21 after allowing 36 earned runs over his first seven starts of the season. Through his first four relief appearances after the move, he registered a 4.50 ERA. On Friday, Hendricks provided crucial innings after Wicks' departure, as he worked 4 ⅓ scoreless against St. Louis. 

The Cubs are also presently without right-handed starter Ben Brown, who landed on the IL on Tuesday with a neck strain. 

The loss to the Cardinals on Friday drops the Cubs to 33-37 on the season. They're presently tied with the Pirates for last place in the National League Central.