Former Cubs star Kris Bryant optimistic about recovery from foot injury

Bryant has played only 42 games in the first year of a seven-year, $182 million contract with the Rockies because of back stiffness and plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

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Pittsburgh Pirates v Colorado Rockies

It’s uncertain how soon Kris Bryant will rejoin the Rockies after a foot injury.

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The encouraging news for former Cubs slugger Kris Bryant is that the platelet-rich plasma injection in his left foot three weeks ago allowed him to run Friday for the first time since he was placed on the injured list Aug. 1.

“And it felt good, so we’re moving in that direction from here on out,” Bryant said.

How soon Bryant, 30, will rejoin the Rockies is uncertain, adding another learning experience to his mercurial career. 

“[Former Cubs pitcher] John Lackey told me in 2019 that you’re not going to have a great year every year, you’re not going to be healthy every year, and that means you’ve played the game for a long time,” said Bryant, the 2015 National League Rookie of the Year and 2016 NL Most Valuable Player. “I really took that to heart when we talked then. You realize that you’ve played the game for a while. Everything can’t be perfect every year. It sucks, but it happens.”

Bryant has played in only 42 games in the first year of a seven-year, $182 million contract with the Rockies because of stiffness in his back and plantar fasciitis in his foot. 

There’s no timetable for his return this season, but Bryant said his experiences in 6 ½ seasons with the Cubs have helped him navigate through these challenges. If fully healed, he plans to train sooner than normal this winter in hopes of embarking on a fast start, as he did in spring training with the Cubs in 2015.

“He’s got such a great track record,” said Rockies outfielder Connor Joe, who played with Bryant at the University of San Diego. “I know how frustrated he is and how much he wants to help this team and how much he wants to be on the field.”

Hoerner on hold

After undergoing an MRI exam Thursday, Cubs shortstop Nico Hoerner was scheduled to meet with team doctors to determine the extent of tightness in his right biceps that has sidelined him since Monday. Christopher Morel, Hoerner’s primary replacement, made two exceptional plays against the Rockies on Friday. Right fielder Seiya Suzuki played the ninth as a defensive replacment after X-rays came back negative on his left hand, which was struck by a pitch Wednesday in the Cubs’ win over the Mets. 

Rookie pitcher Hayden Wesneski will start Saturday in place of Wade Miley (left shoulder), whose start has been pushed to Monday. Catcher Willson Contreras (sprained left ankle) performed agility drills but will be sidelined at least another week, manager David Ross said. 

Pitcher Alec Mills underwent a discectomy in his lower back Wednesday. He hasn’t pitched since July 2.

Another setback for Amaya

Miguel Amaya, the Cubs’ top catching prospect, is scheduled to travel to Chicago next week to be examined by a foot specialist, a source said. Amaya hurt his left ankle Sunday playing for Double-A Tennessee and likely won’t compete in the Arizona Fall League.

Outfielder Brennen Davis, first baseman Matt Mervis, pitchers Bailey Horn, Zac Leigh, Riley Martin and Sheldon Reed and Mesa coach Eric Patterson will represent the Cubs for Mesa in the AFL.

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