Kris Bryant optimistic he can come back and make an impact for 2020 Cubs
Kris Bryant talked before the 27th game of the Cubs season Sunday and expressed optimism for returning to the field this season and making an impact for his team.
Normally, that wouldn’t even be in question for a guy who just went on the 10-day IL with a sprained wrist/finger, but this is no normal year.
The regular season ends five weeks from Sunday and Bryant will miss at least one of those weeks on the shelf healing from the injury he initially suffered Aug. 12 in Cleveland while diving for a ball.
“I’m always optimistic,” he said. “I don’t know when it will happen. I’m going to do everything I can to continue to get treated and whatever the training staff recommends and continuing to communicate with how I’m feeling and stuff like that. So I’m always optimistic about this.”
He tried to play through the injury for more than a week before backing down and realizing he wasn’t helping the team. He received a shot in the ailing left wrist Tuesday, but when his symptoms didn’t subside, the Cubs ultimately moved him to the IL Saturday evening.
“I slid and after you feel something from the impact,” Bryant said. “Then you sleep on it and you wake up the next day and you’re like, ‘OK, I’m a little stiff.’ You get treatment on it and continue to swing and swing and hit in the cage and then BP and then games. And game swings are obviously a lot more intense than batting practice.
“So you just keep going through that process and it’s like you never really give time to heal and feel better about it and then things kinda just snowball on you. That’s kinda how it always works and a lot of us are just too stubborn to realize what exactly happens when these types of things happen.”
Right after the injury happened, Bryant came up and hit a home run. But before the at-bat, he said he was talking to teammate Anthony Rizzo in the on-deck circle and said, “I just don’t feel right. It doesn’t feel great.”
“But I didn’t want to come out,” Bryant continued. “And then of course you hit a homer and it’s like you’re on that home run high and you feel great and you’re like, ‘oh man, this is awesome.’ And you’re like, ‘OK, I’m fine. Nothing’s hurting, I’m good, I’m good.’
“It just progressively speeds up on you and squeezing the glove and stuff in the outfield, I’m like, ‘oh man, this hurts, but I feel great, I just hit a home run.’ It’s hard to balance those feelings of you’re not feeling great right now, but hey, you just hit a home run. So keep playing.”
The plan is for Bryant to continue to receive treatment and give his wrist a rest and then he will likely head to South Bend to collect a few at-bats in game-like situations before returning to the big-league team.
Right now, he’s focused on pain management — particularly with his swing follow through, when he feels it pinch a bit at the outside of the wrist.
2020 marks the third straight year where Bryant has been hampered by injury. He missed 60 games in 2018 with a left shoulder injury and then dealt with knee inflammation in the second half of last season.
Bryant is obviously frustrated by that and wishes he could be out there right now helping his team, but also understands injuries happen sometimes over the course of a baseball career.
“It is what it is and just take it for what it is and get better,” he said. “What can you do?”
With this particular injury, he doesn’t know how long it will linger even after he returns from the IL.
As for when he might return, Bryant didn’t provide an estimate.
“It’s dangerous when you start putting timelines on things and promises,” he said. “I’m optimistic about everything and that makes me feel good. But I have no clue.”