- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Denard Span was honest Tuesday night when he talked about the right knee injury that caused him to miss the Washington Nationals’ doubleheader against the Toronto Blue Jays. 

“I’m trying not to worry,” he said, standing in front of his locker after Washington’s 7-3 loss in the nightcap. “I’m a big worrier. I’ve had a couple injuries already this offseason, and spring training, so I’m trying not to worry myself. I’m just trusting what the training staff and the doctors have told me, and they said it should be OK.”

Span first injured the knee in Chicago last week while tracking a ball and slipping on the outfield grass. He played through it and said he re-aggravated it on a few plays during the team’s subsequent series in Cincinnati. He was removed from Sunday’s game in the eighth inning after Washington’s deficit had become daunting. Manager Matt Williams said the center fielder was dealing with right knee soreness.

Span was left out of the lineup for Monday’s game before it was postponed. Then he was left out of the lineup for each of Washington’s games Tuesday. He tested the knee on an anti-gravity treadmill between games but didn’t feel comfortable returning to the lineup. He hopes to play Wednesday, but still isn’t sure how the knee will respond.

“I’m pretty confident that I will hopefully play in the game,” Span said with a smile and a pause. “That didn’t sound too confident, though.”

The good news for Span is that he felt better Tuesday than he did the day before. He says the swelling in the knee has gone down. “Still a little puffy in one little area, but it’s OK,” he said. 

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Span had an MRI examination and X-ray on the knee in recent days. The team’s training staff and doctors have told him not to worry, he said. He’s spent the past two days receiving a wide range of treatment, from ice to anti-inflammatory gel and anti-inflammatory pills.

Span began the season on the 15-day disabled list with unrelated abdominal injuries. He had one surgery during the offseason and a second procedure, on the opposite side of his core, midway through spring training.

Span does not want to rush back from this latest injury only to have it linger for a serious period of time. But he also wants to help his team if the soreness in his knee has disappeared and he feels healthy enough to do so.

“Mentally, I’m hoping tomorrow’s the day that I can get out there and at least try, test it out in a game,” Span said. “For sure.”

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