The Cubs say third baseman Kris Bryant continues to test negative for COVID-19, but the former MVP is to remain sidelined until at least Monday or Tuesday under the league’s coronavirus-related protocols because of Saturday’s stomachache that falls under one of the symptom categories.
The case is especially noteworthy if only because the Cubs have drawn attention league-wide for an organizational approach that has contributed to them becoming the only team without a positive test among its players since intake testing began more than a month ago.
In recent days, Bryant said he “thanked” Mike Moustakas of the Reds for self-reporting symptoms, which meant sitting out three games until MLB cleared him to play again after multiple negative tests.
“I thanked him because that’s how we’re going to finish the season,” Bryant said Wednesday. “I respect everybody who says that they have something. I completely respect them, because they’re going to be the ones who help us finish the season.”
Bryant also began wearing a mask while running the bases during that series in Cincinnati after the Reds had one player put on the COVID-19 injured list and another, Nick Senzel, join Moustakas in sitting out a few days after reporting symptoms.
“He just really needs to be commended for going in and getting checked out,” Cubs manager David Ross said Sunday, the second consecutive day Bryant was out of the lineup. “With all we’ve got going on, we’re trying to take the right precautions to keep everybody safe.”
Bryant was feeling “much better” Sunday, Ross said.
Bryant’s most recent result, from the club’s regularly scheduled Friday testing, came back negative Saturday night, the team said. Because of the symptoms, he also took a “rapid” test Saturday, which also produced a negative result.
He was part of the club’s regularly scheduled testing Sunday, and is to have another “rapid” test Monday.
It’s unclear whether Major League Baseball will clear Bryant in time for Monday night’s 7:15 game against the Royals even if those two tests return negative results before game time.
Ross credited the club’s medical staff for stressing the high level of transparency with players.
“It’s a unique year and a unique line that they have to walk,” Ross said. “Just having some stomach symptoms, with all that’s going on, we’ve just got to be safe.”