By Bruce Levine-

(CBS) Injured Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is still not ready to play in game competition. Castro has made strides toward returning to the field but is being held back until the team feels he is 100 percent

Castro injured his hamstring on March 2. He has been rehabbing his leg for 17 days. Time is running out on him, but he insists he will be ready for Opening Day in Pittsburgh on March 31.

“I don’t know when I will play, I don’t have a date,” Castro said Wednesday. “I feel pretty good, but they have not told me a date.”

Castro has been running and hitting in the cage as part of his daily rehab, and he took ground balls and hit in the cage on Wednesday.

“I know I am going to have a big year,” he said. “That is the first thing on my mind. That is why this is frustrating.”

Castro said he expects to play in minor league games when he’s ready.

“I don’t know if I can get 40 at bats, but I will get a lot in the minor league games, ” he said. “That was good for me.”

Asked if he is still at 90 percent running strength, Castro didn’t know because he didn’t run Wednesday. But he will run full bore on Thursday and wait for the medical staff to give him the go ahead.

“I am pretty close,” he said. “I don’t know yet the day I will be playing. I feel real close, but they haven’t told me what day yet. I think I will be good for Opening Day.”

Castro missed two weeks with a hamstring during spring training last year, but he played in 161 games in 2013 .  Castro has missed only five games in three complete major league seasons.

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.

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