Floyd returns with father in his thoughts

Floyd returns with father in thoughts

CHICAGO -- Cliff Floyd asked his father if it was all right for the Cubs outfielder to play, and Cliff Senior nodded yes. That was a good sign.

The elder Floyd, who is 57, is in an intensive care unit in a Chicago hospital with fluid in his lungs and heart, and it's been difficult for his son, who left the Cubs on bereavement leave last weekend.

"He looks better," Cliff said. "Some days he looks worse. Right now, the doctors are giving him real good care, and that's all you can ask for. That's the first time I've been around ICU. It's life. You realize a lot of things happen besides coming to the park. It puts things in perspective, and that's how I look at it. I'm good, and in pretty good spirits, and hopefully he'll continue to get better."

Floyd has not played for the Cubs since Thursday in Atlanta, and had returned to Chicago over the weekend to be at his father's side. Is it hard to concentrate on baseball?

"It's not hard," Floyd said. "My mind is on winning. I can leave my dad where he is. You do a lot of praying and talking to the man upstairs and know it's out of my control. Me sitting there is a good thing because I can keep my eye on things, but in terms of him getting better, it won't help.

"Believe it or not, being around the boys has helped me tremendously," he said of his teammates.

His father cannot talk, but when Cliff whispers in his ear, he has been able to nod his head.

"I said, 'Do you want me to go play?' and he shook his head, 'Yes,'" Floyd said. "I have to listen to him. That's a good sign for me. You don't know what to expect -- you go into the room and he's laying there. He's still here and still fighting, and that's the dad I know. It's not the one who's laying there not feeling good."

It's been a shock for Floyd to see his father in such a fragile state.

"I ain't never heard my man tell me he's scared, either, in his life," Floyd said. "It always takes something like that to really open your eyes. He'll keep fighting to the end, I'll tell you that, regardless of whether it's good or bad."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.