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09/22/09 1:19 AM ET
Span day-to-day with mild concussion
Twins center fielder plunked with pitch in sixth inning
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Center fielder Denard Span sat in the visitors' clubhouse at U.S. Cellular Field on Monday night and watched the replay of him getting hit in the back of the head with a pitch. "It looked scary even on replay," Span said. It surely was a frightening moment for the Twins when their leadoff hitter was hit flush is the back of the helmet by a pitch from White Sox left-hander Randy Williams in the sixth inning of Monday's 7-0 win. Span fell immediately to the ground after getting struck, and there was a gasp heard from the crowd of 26,547 at U.S. Cellular Field. Chicago catcher A.J. Pierzynski quickly motioned to the Minnesota dugout for help as Span lay on his back writhing in pain. Twins trainers and manager Ron Gardenhire rushed out to home plate. A few minutes later, Span was able to get up and slowly walk off the field and then into the clubhouse. After the game, Span said that he had a slight headache and a little bit of a dizziness. Doctors examined him and said he had a mild concussion, labeling him as day-to-day. "Hopefully I can go home tonight, go to sleep and wake up tomorrow feeling all right," Span said. I don't want to think about baseball. Just go home and try to relax, get my mind off of baseball and see how I feel [in the morning]." Span was the first batter that Williams faced in the sixth inning after replacing right-hander D.J. Carrasco. Span fouled off the first pitch before a 91-mph fastball nailed him. "I saw his arm and I just froze," Span said. "I couldn't do nothing. It happened so quick to where I almost didn't realize I was hit until I was on the ground. It really shocked me more than anything. I've never been hit in the head like that." White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen called the visitors' clubhouse to check on Span during the game and was informed he was fine. Adding to the Twins' concern is that Span battled dizzy spells earlier this season following an inner ear infection. But it was something that Span could only joke about as he said it was OK since he has "been dizzy pretty much the whole season." With the Twins sitting 2 1/2 games back of the Tigers in the American League Central with 12 games to play, Span knows that this is a time when his team really needs him in the lineup. Span's hope is that he'll feel well enough Tuesday to be back in the lineup, but Gardenhire said the team will have to see how he's feeling. "It was a scary thing," Gardenhire said. "I've been hit a couple times as a player and it buzzes you pretty good. We'll just have to check him out [Wednesday]. "
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.