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Bryant suffers bruised leg, leaves game after outfield collision

Kris Bryant after hitting his 24th home run Monday.

That’s all this team needs as it opens the second half of the season.

All-Star slugger Kris Bryant – who hit his league-leading 24th home run in the second inning on Monday – left the game three innings later because of a bruised lower leg after a collision in the outfield with rookie center fielder Albert Almora Jr.

The injury did not appear to be serious, with Bryant remaining in the game to finish the half-inning after both players wound up on the ground after the catch made by Bryant in left field.

And manager JoeMaddon said after the 10-4 victory over the Reds that Bryant would have stayed in the game if it had been close. The Cubs led 8-0 at the time.

“He should be fine,” said Maddon, who expects him to be back in the lineup Tuesday.

The Cubs already lost one makeshift left fielder for the season in April, when slugger Kyle Schwarber blew out a knee on a collision with center fielder Dexter Fowler in Arizona.

Bryant was unavailable by the time media got to the clubhouse after the game.

Maddon said Bryant, who was camped under the ball by the time Almora got there, had called for it, but not loud enough to be heard over a crowd of more than 41,000.

“We have to iron those things out,” Maddon said.

Almora said he didn’t hear Bryant call for it and didn’t look away from the ball to see Bryant camped.

“My fault. I take full responsibility for it,” said Almora, who called for it “at the very end” but too late to avoid the contact. “I don’t want to hurt [anyone]. He’s like my brother. He’s going to be one of my witnesses at my wedding in a couple weeks.

“I gave him like 15,000 hugs and apologized every time.”