SAN FRANCISCO -- The Chicago Cubs escaped some bad news with outfielder Jason Heyward on Saturday, when they learned that he has a contusion near his right rib and hip, an injury that will keep him out of action for three to five days.
"I think that's a reasonable thing," Heyward said after learning his MRI didn't reveal serious damage. "I'm feeling a lot better today than last night. Take it one day at a time."
Heyward was injured while making a diving catch in deep right centerfield at AT&T Park in the first inning of Friday's 8-1 win over the San Francisco Giants. Most observers think Denard Span's blast would have gone for an inside-the-park home run, if not for Heyward's heroics. After lying on the ground for several minutes, Heyward was able to limp off the field with the help of trainers.
"God looked out for me on that one," Heyward said. "Still sore, achy, tight in the area that it happened."
Manager Joe Maddon was obviously pleased the damage wasn't worse.
"All I know [is] it was a great play," he said.
As a result of Heyward's injury, the Cubs activated outfielder Matt Szczur from the disabled list, and pitcher Neil Ramirez was designated for assignment. The Cubs will essentially play a man short for the next several days, until Heyward is healed, which forced the need for an extra position player. Ben Zobrist started in right field Saturday against the Giants, while Javier Baez played second base.
Heyward said he won't risk an early return to the field.
"I'll listen to my body," he said. "Regardless of the doctors, you have to listen to your body. ... I have to be smart. It's May. We're not in September right now. It's not the time to push it."
As for the catch, which made highlight reels all over the country, Heyward said he ranked it near the top.
"It's up there," Heyward said. "One of my favorites in my life, for sure."