Heyward encouraged after taking BP

Heyward encouraged after taking BP

ST. LOUIS -- Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward took batting practice on Monday for the first time since crashing into the center-field wall at San Francisco's AT&T Park, and said he would like to play sometime during the three-game series against the Cardinals.

Heyward suffered a contusion on the right side of his rib cage in the first inning on Friday after he caught Denard Span's fly ball and slid into the wall.

"My first reaction was 'Great catch,' and my second reaction was, 'That looks like a guy who will be out for a while,'" general manager Jed Hoyer said on Monday. "I think we did dodge a bullet."

Heyward, who was projected to miss three to five days, was encouraged by how he felt on Monday.

"I don't have a whole lot of pain," Heyward said. "There's dull soreness. I'm not worried about tearing anything. That's why I'm [saying], 'OK, let's try and get moving' and take that stride. I want to play as soon as possible."

The goal on Monday was to be "as normal as possible," Heyward said. The Cubs' athletic trainers have tested his range of motion and his agility, and so far he has passed.

"If it was up to me, I'd be playing right now," Heyward said. "Obviously, you have to go through stuff and test it out just to make sure. We'll see what they say and see how I feel."

Manager Joe Maddon wants to talk to athletic trainer PJ Mainville before announcing when Heyward will play.

"From the beginning we were talking three to five [days], and it [could] be just that," Maddon said.

Heyward was also encouraged that he does not have any headaches.

"I love how I'm feeling," Heyward said. "I have complete confidence to go out there and test it out. I wouldn't go do it if I didn't trust it, and they wouldn't let me do it if they didn't trust it. Everybody's on the same page."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.