Has 3-week-old hand injury robbed Cubs' Kris Bryant of his power?

The reigning National League MVP has hit only one of his 20 homers since the injury in Atlanta: 'But I wouldn't use that

PHOENIX – Kris Bryant won’t admit that it has anything to do with his recent power outage.

But the sprain he suffered at the crease of his left hand between the pinkie and ring fingers persists as a painful, daily issue he treats and plays through – and might face playing through the rest of the season.

“It’s brutal,” said Bryant, who suffered the injury when his hand caught third baseman Johan Camargo’s cleat as he slid head-first into third July 19 in Atlanta.

“Every day it swells up,” he said. “It’s actually kind of annoying to have to go into the training room every day and just do all this work just to feel good. But sometimes you’ve got to go through that.”

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Bryant's first-inning single Friday in Arizona.

Bryant, who sat out the Cubs’ next game after the injury, hasn’t missed another game since.

And the National League’s reigning MVP spoke Friday night in Arizona after reaching base all five trips to the plate during an 8-3 victory, hitting three singles, getting hit by a pitch and drawing a walk.

“I feel fine [at the plate],” he said. “I’d like to get the ball in the air a little more but it’s tough to complain with a day like that.”

Whether his inability to drive the ball in the air more often the last three weeks is because of the pain and swelling in his bottom hand on the bat, he’s not saying. But even the off day Thursday didn’t do much to alleviate it, suggesting it could persist as long as he plays through it.

Meanwhile, he has found a way to do more with less power. He has only six extra-base hits since the injury (one homer), but he’s 24-for-74 (.324) with five walks and .373 on-base percentage since then.

“There’s no excuses,” he said when asked about the lingering effect of the injury. “You deal with stuff like this all the time – the sores, the aches, the pains. This year just happens to be my hand. But I wouldn’t use that as an excuse for anything.”

Follow me on Twitter @GDubCub

Email: gwittenmyer@suntimes.com

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