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Bryant back in lineup with renewed perspective

Cubs' 3B wearing protective helmet after missing 4 games following beaning
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant returned to the Cubs' lineup against the Brewers on Saturday, relieved that he missed only a few days after being hit in the head by a pitch.

Bryant walked in his first plate appearance and went on to go 0-for-3 in the Cubs' 3-0 victory.

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CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant returned to the Cubs' lineup against the Brewers on Saturday, relieved that he missed only a few days after being hit in the head by a pitch.

Bryant walked in his first plate appearance and went on to go 0-for-3 in the Cubs' 3-0 victory.

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Video: MIL@CHC: Cubs on 3-0 victory over the Brewers

"I know he's going to be fine," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "It's like anything else, you have to get back on the horse when something bad happens to us, and not just getting hit by a pitch, but other situations."

Bryant missed four games after being hit by a 96.3-mph fastball from Rockies starter German Marquez on Sunday.

"Any time you feel you can't get out of the way of a ball, you feel helpless," Bryant said Saturday. "That was how I felt. It was going to hit me one way or another. It could've been a lot worse. I'm pretty thankful I was only out four games."

Tweet from @Cubs: 😁 pic.twitter.com/xqfvtdAr9v

Bryant will now wear a C-Flap on the front of his helmet, which he said he wore until he got to high school.

"I've always worn it -- I probably should've been wearing it the whole time," he said.

Neither the Cubs nor Bryant would say if he suffered a concussion. He simply wasn't medically cleared to play until Saturday.

"I was taking it easy," Bryant said. "I realize, especially nowadays with the football players [and concussions], they take this stuff seriously, and I needed to take it seriously and not try to go out there and be Mr. Tough Man and play and get hit again, and you never know what happens.

Video: MIL@CHC: Kris Bryant discusses returning to lineup

"Our team doctor was making sure I could see my kids grow up, because any time you're talking about your brain, a lot can go wrong if it happens again. I got wind that Joe thought I'd be in there in a couple days. I was just listening to the team doctor, and that's all it was. [The doctor] said, 'We're going to hold you out a little longer,' and I had to listen to him."

Marquez did reach out to Bryant last Sunday to say he was sorry, with Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez acting as interpreter. Bryant said he was wearing sunglasses because it was so bright in Colorado and tough to see.

"Any time someone throws 97 miles an hour, it's like milliseconds of reaction time," Bryant said. "It's pretty impressive that we can hit that ball."

Even though he was hit in the head, Bryant said he felt "super sharp" after the game.

"It could've been a lot worse," Bryant said. "I was thankful I could joke after the game and feel like my normal self."

Bryant has been doing baseball activities the past two days at full speed and was eager to get back in a game.

"It kind of puts things in perspective a little bit, because we're out there and everybody wants to get hits and RBIs and home runs and feel great about themselves," Bryant said. "When something like that happens, you have to take a step back and realize that this game could be taken from you really quick and really soon and unexpectedly. It's really important to enjoy the game as much as you can."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant