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Bryant's right ankle sprain feeling 'a lot better'

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

WASHINGTON -- Kris Bryant was more concerned about getting an omelette Thursday morning than his right ankle, which is good news for the Cubs.

Bryant suffered a mild-to-moderate ankle sprain on Wednesday when he awkwardly stepped on third base after catching Matt Wieters' popup. Bryant had to be helped off the field with manager Joe Maddon and athletic trainer Ed Halbur as his "crutches." On Thursday, the right ankle was swollen but Bryant was feeling better.

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WASHINGTON -- Kris Bryant was more concerned about getting an omelette Thursday morning than his right ankle, which is good news for the Cubs.

Bryant suffered a mild-to-moderate ankle sprain on Wednesday when he awkwardly stepped on third base after catching Matt Wieters' popup. Bryant had to be helped off the field with manager Joe Maddon and athletic trainer Ed Halbur as his "crutches." On Thursday, the right ankle was swollen but Bryant was feeling better.

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"It's obviously some kind of a sprain," Maddon said. "We're not applying any kind of finish line to it. I saw him walk on the bus and I thought it was encouraging to see that. We just have to give this a couple days."

"I feel a lot better," Bryant said. "After the game we did a bunch of [rehab] stuff that didn't feel good but it made me feel better today. I feel a ton better."

It was a freakish play.

"The ball started pretty far over from the bag and I thought I was far away from [the base] but the ball came back to the field," Bryant said. "I heard Javy [Baez] say something, like, 'Watch out for the bag,' and it was one step. I can't believe it happened.

"I've sprained a lot of ankles before and I've had way worse," he said. "You feel it and you're like, 'Oh, that's not good.'"

Could he pinch-hit on Thursday in the series finale against the Nationals?

"No clue," Bryant said. "I'm going to go eat an omelette."

• With Miguel Montero no longer on the Cubs' roster, they are relying on very young catchers in Willson Contreras, 25, and Victor Caratini, 23. Maddon said the pitchers may need to call pitches to help the two.

"I prefer when a pitcher gives a signal to a catcher in advance of the next pitch -- a lot of guys do it," Maddon said. "I think there's methods where the veteran should take charge of the situation, whether it's the pitcher or the catcher.

"These are two really good young catchers to grow with. They're great students, they're great kids." Maddon said.

• Maddon said he would text Kyle Schwarber soon to see how the slugger is doing since he was optioned to Triple-A Iowa. Schwarber, who was batting .171 with the Cubs before he was sent down, started play there Monday.

"From what I'm hearing, he's saying all the right things and going about it the right way but I haven't heard anything specifically," Maddon said.

• The 2017 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard is right around the corner but Maddon admitted he needs to do some homework regarding the National League pitching staff, which he will manage. He and Cubs pitching coach Chris Bosio, who is also going to the game in Miami, will meet with Major League Baseball officials on July 10 to discuss how they'll use the pitchers.

"I don't even know who's pitching well, who's leading in ERA," Maddon admitted. "I'll have to bring myself up to speed next week."

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.

Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant