Kris Bryant's ankle is feeling so well, even Sunday's wet and chilly conditions couldn't keep him out of the lineup.
Bryant rolled his right ankle running the bases in Thursday's game and sat out Friday's contest. But an MRI showed just a mild issue and Saturday's rainout helped minimize Bryant's time on the shelf.
Bryant tested his ankle on the slick outfield grass Sunday morning and felt so good, Joe Maddon wrote out Sunday's lineup with the 2015 Rookie of the Year in left field with Tommy La Stella at third base.
"It wasn't terrible," Bryant said. "I've dealt with a lot worse. ... I didn't think much of it. I'm fine. It's good to be out there. Maybe the weather made it a little worse than it was. I feel good."
The Cubs chose to play it safe with Bryant after already covering for the losses of Kyle Schwarber and Miguel Montero in the lineup, but after Sunday's pregame "test," it was all systems go.
"I think that was their concern - if I could run down some balls out there," Bryant said. "I felt fine. I'm going through all the routes and stuff like that. Everything is good to go."
Maddon was open to the possibility Friday of calling upon Bryant to pinch-hit late in the game if he felt up to it, but no such situation arose.
The Cubs manager was intially expecting to be without Bryant for the entire weekend, eyeing a return Monday night in Pittsburgh.
"I didn't know," Maddon said. "I really thought maybe by [Monday] would've been more than likely, but he was adament that he feels great. The training staff said, 'He's fine. Go for it. Don't worry about it.' I'm just following both of those groups with KB saying himself."
Bryant said he's had ankle issues in the past and was in the habit of taping his ankles for every game. But he actually didn't have his ankles taped for a couple games because he had been feeling so good.
Cubs nation can breathe a sigh of relief that the injury was not more serious, so now all Bryant can do is shrug his shoulders and laugh it off.
"Of course something happens [the game I don't tape my ankles] so the baseball gods are telling me to continue to tape my ankle," he said. "Lesson learned."
Bryant has been seeing a lot of time in left field lately with Javy Baez back from the disabled list, La Stella (.400 AVG, 1.203 OPS) mashing and Jorge Soler off to a slow start (.193 AVG, .610 OPS).
Bryant still said he prefers third base, but he's feeling more and more comfortable and confident in the outfield.
Maddon loves Bryant's defense at third base, but considers him a utility guy more so because of the situation the team is in with Schwarber lost for the season and Baez/La Stella adept at third base.
"It's a matter of fitting all the pieces in and then re-shuffling it game-in-progress," Maddon said.