Schwarber: I'm the third catcher

Cub will be the backstop 1-2 times a week this spring

Schwarber: I'm the third catcher

MESA, Ariz. -- Kyle Schwarber felt right at home catching a bullpen session, but he made sure to note that he's the Cubs' third catcher -- not the regular -- this season.

Schwarber, coming back from two torn ligaments in his left knee that he sustained last April 7, caught John Lackey's bullpen session on Friday, the first time he has been in gear in nearly a year.

"It was definitely nice to be back there," Schwarber said on Sunday. "I haven't done it in almost 12 months. It was good to be back there. It's fun to challenge yourself back there. It was cool."

Schwarber enjoyed the welcome-back hug from Lackey before the 25-pitch session.

"He loved it," Schwarber said, "and I loved it, too."

During the workout, Schwarber extended his left leg when he squatted to avoid putting any extra pressure on his knee. He has done that in the past, he said, but with his right knee out.

When Lackey finished, so did Schwarber, who then did baserunning drills on a back field.

"Obviously, I want to do more," Schwarber said. "You have to take it slow with the knee and the injury and everything like that."

The 23-year-old is projected to catch one to two days a week in Spring Training, while primarily playing left field for the Cubs.

"It's going to be limited," Schwarber said of catching. "My role right now is most likely third catcher. I've got [Willson Contreras] and [Miguel Montero]. I've got to be ready at any time to come in late in the game from left field to maybe come catch and give those guys a blow. It's not like I'm going to be the everyday starter.

"For me to be prepared for that, I'm going to have to do some work. That's why I'm trying to get back there and see some pitches and get my eyes trained again to see some stuff."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.