The Washington Times - May 29, 2013, 06:46PM

BALTIMORE — When Nationals second baseman Danny Espinosa visited with Dr. Ken Means Wednesday morning in Baltimore, the specialist cleared him to return to the Nationals’ lineup. So Espinosa did.

The healing in the right wrist that was only just last week revealed to have a fracture in it, was not complete. But Espinosa could play. If he wanted to wait, he’d have to wait about three more weeks, the doctor told him.

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“I don’t have three weeks to sit,” Espinosa said. “I thought if it was another week that would have been real productive, I probably would have taken one week. But it’s not going to be one week. It’s going to be a good amount of time to get it recovered. I feel better. I don’t have the amount of pain I had.”

The swelling was down significantly, though, and Espinosa felt that while the wrist is still in a “healing process” he was ready to get back on the field.

“It feels good,” Espinosa said. “It’s not going to be 100 percent. But there are plenty of guys that play with injuries that aren’t 100 percent.”

Espinosa told The Washington Times on Tuesday that he was planning to go through some options with the trainers and see if they could help ease his transition back to playing — like kenesio taping the area to help relieve some of the stress on the bone. Espinosa did have his wrist wrapped on Wednesday.

The Nationals’ second baseman also wanted to put to rest the misconception that he’d been knowingly playing with a broken wrist. 

“If I would’ve known my wrist was broken I wouldn’t have played,” Espinosa said. “I think a lot of people think I just tried to play with a broken wrist. When there’s no fracture seen to start and it’s a bone bruise, you want to play.

“It’s just like last year when I thought my shoulder was a bone bruise. I think everyone thought I knew my shoulder was messed up. When you get a shot in your shoulder and it numbs everything, you don’t know.”

Nationals medical director Wiemi Douoguih said that the initial X-ray done on Espinosa did show “some finding, but it was away from where he was sore. So we thought that it might be old. It wasn’t bothering him. A couple of weeks ago, he developed new pain in a new location that was around where the bone chips were and then that’s when we became more concerned.”

“The pain was radiating from like here to here,” Espinosa explained, pointing from his hand all the way to halfway up his forearm. “I sat for like five days (after I got hit initially). If I knew, I would’ve gone on the 15-day (disabled list). I’m sure two weeks probably would’ve done a ton for it. (The doctors) didn’t miss it on purpose and we didn’t know exactly where the pain was going. I felt like I got hit here but the pain was like in my wrist so they were just checking everything for major breaks.”