Span, driving his Range Rover, was following Valencia -- the
passenger in his Range Rover Sport, with his fiancée driving -- when
they encountered stopped traffic while turning from I-35 onto Highway 62 West. Span didn't stop, and rear-ended Valencia's car.
Both sustained whiplash and complained of headaches, and were held out of the lineup as a result.
"It's not funny, but it's typical," said Gardenhire, who couldn't
help but laugh when telling the story. "So that's the reason why
they're really not in the lineup. Danny has a little bit of a stiff
neck and Span is OK, and says he feels fine, but it's probably not a good
night to start him out there."
Valencia and Span were able to joke about the accident, as both cars
had only minor damage, but it was still a scary moment, as all
three people involved sustained whiplash. Valencia's fiancée was checked
out by doctors on Friday.
"We all have whiplash," Valencia said. "I have a headache right now,
and instantly had a headache when it happened. So it's unfortunate.
But I was more concerned about him because of his concussion symptoms.
But I was happy he was doing better than I expected."
Span, who has been dealing with concussion-like symptoms and migraines
since sustaining a concussion in a home-plate collision on June
3, said that the crash triggered his symptoms "a little bit" but that
he hopes to return on Saturday.
"It still hurts," Span said. "I'm not going to lie. My head hurts, and
my neck is a little sore. I'm laughing, but it's not funny, to be honest
with you. It's been a rough year for me. I just played Wednesday, so
for something like this to happen has been rough for me. But it
could have been worse."
With Valencia and Span out, only Matt Tolbert and Rene Rivera were
available off the bench for Friday's game. Luke Hughes made the start
at second base, with Ben Revere starting in center field.
"We need a rabbit's foot," Valencia said. "We have bad luck. And it's
unfortunate, because when you think it can't get any worse, it does.
Yesterday was a positive day, considering we had a great walk-off win
and our first win in about two weeks, and then the next thing you know,
I think I had a bomb dropped off on my car."