Apr 19, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT
The Nationals reinstated center fielder Denard Span off the 7-day disabled list on Saturday, and optioned Steven Souza, Jr. back to Triple-A Syracuse.
Span had been out since April 11 after sustaining a concussion in Atlanta in a game against the Braves. He made two rehab appearances with the Single-A Hagerstown Suns before rejoining the Nats.
“It feels good,” Span said. “A couple days in Hagerstown definitely got my appreciation for being here up a few notches, and I’m ready to go.”
Span will play center field and bat leadoff for the Nationals in their third of a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. He does have a history with concussions, having missed time in 2011 with the Minnesota Twins, but is hopeful this one will not linger.
“I’m definitely more educated, more prepared for this incident as opposed to the incident I had three years ago. I’ve got good people around me, good people making sure I take care of myself. I think that’s the biggest difference.”
Span did note before going on a rehab assignment that this felt less severe than he has experienced in the past. He feels 100 percent and ready to get back to work with the Nationals.
“I try not to think about it. Even when I get out there today, I’m not going to think about how I had a concussion a week ago, I’m going to go out there and just play and play the game as if I did or did not have a concussion.”
Though he said he “didn’t see many strikes,” Span enjoyed his brief time at Hagerstown. He is definitely happy to be back with the Nationals, but he had some interesting thoughts on playing in Single-A:
“I hadn’t been to an A ball game for a long. I’ve rehabbed in the past but I usually go to Triple-A, and it was my first time being at an A ball game since I was in A ball. It brought back a lot of memories, watching those kids play and go about their business, it reminded me a lot of myself when I was 19, 20 years old. It was actually a lot of fun. Everybody there was just happy to have me there and trying to pick my brain a little bit. It was a good time in general, but definitely happy to be back here.”
Through 10 games with the Nationals this season, Span is hitting .222 with five runs and four RBI.
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