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Span believes he's past concussion symptoms

Span believes he's past concussion symptoms

Span believes he's past concussion symptoms play video for Span believes he's past concussion symptoms
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Denard Span didn't waste any time getting into his usual routine at the Lee County Sports Complex on Tuesday.

Span reported to Spring Training two days before the club's official report date and participated in a full workout without any issues. The center fielder took batting practice, ran the bases and shagged balls in the outfield.

It was a welcome sight for the Twins, considering Span played in just 70 games last year because he was limited by a concussion suffered in a home-plate collision against the Royals on June 3.

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"I did everything," Span said. "The trainers came to me today and asked me what I was going to do. I said, 'I'm going to go until I tell you I can't go or when I feel a certain way.'"

Span will be in contact with the club's training staff in the early going, including head trainer Rick McWane, but currently doesn't have any restrictions, according to general manager Terry Ryan.

Span said the plan for now is taking a day-to-day approach to how he feels, because he still is bothered by an occasional bad day.

"I told Rick that if don't feel good a certain day or wake up not feeling good I'd go to him and tell him how I'm feeling," Span said. "Today, when I got here he just asked me what I want to do and I said I'm going to go out there and I'm feeling good. Everything we're doing is light anyway, so each day I kind of report to him and see how I feel."

Span, though, is growing more and more confident that those bad days aren't related to the concussion, and he believes he's getting past those symptoms.

He changed his diet this offseason, gave up caffeine and began taking only natural medications while cutting down on anti-inflammatories. He also added yoga into his weekly routine and has been seeing a chiropractor once a week.

"I think I'm over that concussion," Span said. "Even talking with my chiropractor, the last thing he told me was, 'You're over your concussion. Now it's about body functioning.' When you have a concussion and your body gets jarred I think you are just more aware of different things that are going on in your body. So it's just now about taking care of my body."

Span said sometimes it's hard to differentiate those bad days from the concussion symptoms -- dizziness, fogginess and fatigue -- he felt at various points last season.

He also dealt with similar symptoms with migraines and vertigo in 2009, when he was diagnosed with vestibular neuritis, which is an inner-ear condition marked by unbalance between the left and right ears.

Span said the key is getting those thoughts out of his head and realizing that everyone has their share of good and bad days.

"It is just about getting through them," Span said. "I think Justin [Morneau] will tell you if you have a concussion you kind of think too much. You wake up in the morning, and on a bad day, you're wondering if you're just not feeling well or if it's concussion symptoms."

For now, Span said the goal is to avoid those bad days and be able to play every day this spring.

"I've got to push away from that and get on the field and just fight through it," Span said. "My plan is to go like any other Spring Training. I'm here. I showed up today ready go."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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