ST. LOUIS -- When Dioner Navarro was injured Wednesday after a collision at home plate, the Cubs catcher originally thought he broke his right ankle. But after a few minutes, he could move his foot, and figured he would walk off the field.
Cubs assistant athletic trainer Ed Halbur insisted Navarro be taken off on a cart because they weren't sure about the extent of the injury.
"First of all, I didn't want to get carted off," Navarro said Saturday. "I almost punched Ed in the face and told him I wanted to walk off the field. When the play first happened, I definitely thought I broke my ankle. When [Halbur] first came out, my first thought was I broke my ankle."
And now that Navarro was proclaimed ready to go on Saturday, three days after the incident, who is the catcher's hero? Halbur. That's because he tapes Navarro's ankles before every game and that may have helped prevent a fracture.
"Ed is definitely keeping his job," Navarro said.
Navarro was examined Friday in Chicago, and the medical staff determined he did not need to go on the disabled list. On Saturday, the catcher did agility drills, hit and squatted, and he pronounced himself ready to go. When could he catch again?
"Today," Navarro said. "I actually felt a little bit faster than before when I was doing the drills."
The Cubs will wait a few days. Manager Dale Sveum said he was surprised to see how well Navarro felt.
"I've never seen him move like that," Sveum said.
Navarro did have some doubts as he was riding off the field on the cart at Citizens Bank Park.
"Once I got on the cart going out, a lot of things, especially negative things started going through my mind," Navarro said. "But after the X-ray and overnight the way it felt, I knew it wasn't going to be as bad."
He's watched a replay of the collision with Chase Utley once.
"It was a clean play, two ballplayers making a good baseball play," Navarro said. "I was hoping [Utley] was a little sore the next day, but he was in the lineup."
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.