Denard Span ready for return from concussion after successful rehab game

Washington Nationals' Denard Span singles to score teammate Bryce Harper in the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Friday, April 11, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

 Denard Span is expecting to be back with the Nationals on Saturday. (David Goldman/Associated Press)

After scoring three runs in a rehab assignment Thursday night at Class A Hagerstown, center fielder Denard Span is hopeful he will return from a concussion on Saturday, the first day he eligible to come off the seven-day disabled list.

Having missed half a season earlier in his career with the Minnesota Twins after sustaining a concussion, Span understands the way he needs to respond. Thursday, he went 1 for 2 with two walks and a stolen base. He also made several plays in the field and no vision problems, even considering the minor league stadium lights.

“I felt good, man,” Span said in a phone conversation after the game. “I felt the way I needed to feel. I felt into the game. I felt coherent. I felt everything I needed to feel. … I felt like I hadn’t had a concussion, to be honest with you.”

Span landed on the disabled list last weekend after he collided with Braves second baseman Dan Uggla. He will play Friday night in Hagerstown as a final warm-up, but he said if he was eligible to return to the Nationals on Friday, he could.

“I felt fine,” Span said. “The last time, it wasn’t good.”

Span played only five innings Thursday because the game became such a route. In his final at-bat, which resulted in a walk, the opposing pitcher nearly hit Span in the head with a pitch.

“After that,” Span said, “I said it’s time to get out of the game.”

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