Jun 7, 2015, 8:24 PM EDT
Denard Span left Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Chicago Cubs with back spasms, adding yet another ailment to a long list of them for the Nationals center fielder this season.
Span missed three games earlier in the week with a sore right knee. He also missed time in early May with soreness in his abdomen. That was after beginning the season on the disabled list while he recovered from core muscle surgery. He also had sports hernia surgery in the offseason.
Span and the Nationals believe this particular injury is minor, but are exercising caution. Span has never dealt with back spasms before in his career.
“I felt fine after I popped up to shortstop and came back, put my helmet in the rack, put my bat down — calmly — and sat down on the bench. And as soon as we got three outs, hopped up to go get my glove and I went to go stand up and it just locked up on me. Never happened to me before, so it definitely scared the heck out of me,” he said.
The Nationals do not believe it is serious, but Span wants to wait and see until he feels in the coming days.
“I mean that’s the initial diagnosis. I don’t know, hopefully it feels better tomorrow when I wake up. That will be a little bit more peaceful for me. But it’s still too early. I don’t know how serious or really what’s going on,” he explained.
Span was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the game before exited in the top of the eighth inning. Danny Espinosa took over in left field, while Michael Taylor moved to center. It was Espinosa’s first ever appearance in the outfield.
Span said he will take muscle relaxers to try and loosen up his back. He is traveling to New York with the Nats on Sunday night on a train.
“Good thing we have a day off tomorrow. I guess I’m just going to communicate with the trainers tomorrow during the day off and let them know how I’m feeling.”
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