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Updated: July 13th, 2011 11:58am
Denard Span passes test, cleared to begin rehab assignment

Denard Span passes test, cleared to begin rehab assignment

by Phil Mackey
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The Minnesota Twins are a step closer to getting their leadoff hitter back.

Denard Span told the Star Tribune on Wednesday he has been cleared by doctors to begin a rehab assignment.

Span hasn't played since June 6 because of a concussion and whiplash, the product of a collision with Kansas City catcher Brayan Pena on June 3. Because of baseball's new concussion protocol, Span needed to pass a test and have the results submitted to the league office before returning the game action.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said in Chicago last weekend that he wants Span to play seven to 10 games in a rehab assignment. Triple-A Rochester plays in Buffalo on Thursday, so Span could return prior to the July 21 to 24 series against the Detroit Tigers if he begins his rehab assignment immediately.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Ron Gardenhire, Denard Span