Kris Bryant Talks About His Wrist and Finger Issue, Touching on Why Guys Play Through Injuries

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Kris Bryant Talks About His Wrist and Finger Issue, Touching on Why Guys Play Through Injuries

Chicago Cubs

We’ve seen these scenarios play out before – heck, we’ve seen it multiple times before with Kris Bryant – but you rarely get to hear from a guy on just why he was still out there playing despite an injury. I love that Bryant talked about his wrist/finger issue, humanizing something that can often seem so obvious to outsiders.

The injury initially happened on an attempted diving catch 12 days ago in Cleveland. It was obvious that Bryant was wincing, but he stayed in the game, took his next at bat, and hit a home run. For a moment, we felt relief that everything was OK.

Turns out, Bryant was feeling the same way, and it impacted how the next few days played out.

“I was telling Rizzo in the on-deck circle [in Cleveland], ‘I don’t feel great,’ but I didn’t want to come out,” Bryant said of that game, per the Sun-Times. “And then of course, you hit a home run. You’re on that home-run high and you feel great. … It just progressively speeds up on you. You’re squeezing the glove in the outfield. I was like, ‘Oh man, yeah this hurts, but I feel great. I just hit a home run,’ So it’s like, it’s hard to balance those feelings.”

We really shouldn’t wonder how and why it is that competitive athletes try to play through injuries. They have nicks and scrapes all season long – many of which we never hear about because they DO successfully play through them – and it’s hard to know when one of them is “too much” to play through. For Bryant, he had some success, managed the discomfort, played a few more days, and that’s when it was clear that a line needed to be drawn.

“I slid and after you feel something from the impact,” Bryant said of the original injury, per Marquee. “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.”

The nature of this shortened season also played a role on the human side of things.

“Absolutely,” Bryant said, per Cubs.com. “The hardest part is to balance that mental side of getting through pain or injury, especially with games running out. You’ve just got to accept it for what it is and take the time to get better. But, yeah, it’s very frustrating just to continue to look at the schedule and realize that, ‘Hey, man, we’re running out of time here.'”

I’m not defending the decisions players and/or teams make when guys play crappily through injuries, which we’ve seen constantly with the Cubs over the past five years. I’m saying only that, when you consider that these are humans and this stuff is not black and white, combined with the understandable sense of urgency in August, and I can *understand* why things sometimes play out in a way that you look back and wish a guy had just been IL’d right away.

As for what comes next, no one really knows. The injection Bryant got on Tuesday didn’t dissipate the discomfort as hoped, so he’s just gotta rest. Eventually, he’ll head to South Bend to start taking swings against live pitching, but until that happens you can’t even start thinking about him being back soon.

“I don’t have the [answers to how and when it will feel better] and those are certainly questions I’ve asked the trainers or team doctors, if it’s something that will eventually go away,” Bryant said. “They don’t really know either. It’s kind of just your symptoms might pop up here and there and then you just manage it for what it is and if it gets any worse then you can address it. I guess right now, it is kind of a pain symptom management and moving on from there.”

If Bryant can be back for September, fully rested and fully healthy, you’ll take that.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.