Denard Span improving, hopes to play rehab games by end of week


Denard Span. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Update, 10:03 a.m. Wednesday: Denard Span is heading back to Washington on Wednesday ahead of the team to be evaluated by a doctor. He hopes to begin his rehab assignment on Thursday.

Update, 7:01 p.m. TuesdayThree days after he suffered a mild concussion during a collision on the bases on Friday, Denard Span took batting practice on Monday, ran the bases and felt improved. On Tuesday, he took more batting practice, lifted weights and said he felt even better, which is an encouraging sign for the outfielder, who suffered a concussion that threatened his career in 2011.

Span was monitored closely as he performed the physical activity and was slated to see a doctor after every day’s worth of exertion. He said he took the ImPACT concussion test on Tuesday for the first time since he collided with Dan Uggla rounding first base in the eighth inning on Friday. According to Span, he scored even higher on the test than before his baseline test in 2008.

“I think it’s a good sign but some of it is familiarity of the test,” he said. “Back in ’08, I had never taken the test. Now I’ve taken it quite a few times since 2011.”

Other than sleeping and resting as much as possible in the meantime, Span said he has also seen a chiropractor. Since he collided with catcher Brayan Pena on June 5, 2011, when he suffered his first concussion, Span said his neck hasn’t been the same. “My neck gets out of whack every now and then so whenever I get it adjusted, I feel better,” he said.

Depending on how Span’s examination goes on Tuesday, he may return to Washington on Wednesday ahead of the Nationals to be evaluated by a doctor there. If he passes that test, Span could play a couple of minor league rehab games at the end of the week, Manager Matt Williams said. He landed on the seven-day concussion disabled list on Saturday, so the soonest he would be eligible to come off it would be Saturday.

Span is pleased with how quickly he has progressed in the matter of a few days. With his previous concussion, he felt like he didn’t rest and slow himself down enough in his recovery.

It just shows how far along I’ve come since 2011 to now,” he said. “Even after having a collision like I did three days ago, to be feeling as good as I am today, it just shows all the hard work I’ve done over the years to get to this point.”

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.
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