June 29, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) Kris Bryant was out of the Chicago Cubs' starting lineup for a series finale at Washington, a day after spraining his right ankle, and could be sidelined until next week.

The reigning NL MVP turned his ankle on third base while catching a foul popup in the sixth inning Wednesday.

''It feels a ton better today,'' Bryant said Thursday. ''I'm moving around pretty good. I don't think it will be too long.''

X-rays Wednesday were negative. After leaving the field Bryant said he and the training staff ''did a bunch of stuff that didn't feel good, but I guess it really made feel better today.''

He was replaced at third base Thursday by Jeimer Candelario.

''Just got to give us a couple of days to figure it out at that point,'' Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

Maddon acknowledged he could hold Bryant out until Chicago hosts Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

''I would think that's what it's going to be. When you sprain your ankle, it just doesn't get better overnight,'' Maddon said.

The injury occurred in part because the pop drifted.

''The ball started out pretty far over from the bag so I thought I was pretty far away from it,'' Bryant said. ''One step. I can't believe it happened.''

Bryant is batting .264 with 16 home runs and 32 RBIs.

''Maybe soften the bags a little bit, like old school. Maybe just throw a hat down,'' he joked.

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