Span headed for rehab stint with Rochester

Span headed for rehab stint with Rochester

MINNEAPOLIS -- Denard Span's goal was never to go back to Triple-A Rochester, but this week the outfielder will go there with a positive purpose -- getting himself ready to come off the disabled list.

Span, who was placed on the DL retroactive to June 10 with an inner ear infection in his right ear, is set to begin a two-game rehab assignment with Rochester on Monday, and the Twins expect him to be activated from the DL when he's eligible on Thursday.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said that Span will play for Rochester on Monday and Tuesday before traveling to Milwaukee on Wednesday to work out with the team. If everything goes all right and Span does not experience a recurrence of the dizzy spells that he did over the past month, he'll be back in the lineup for Thursday afternoon's series finale with the Brewers.

Span's original preference was to avoid a rehab assignment, but he said that after talking with Gardenhire, he understood why the club wants him to experience game action before he's activated. If the club were to activate him without a rehab stint and he had a setback, the club would lose him for another 15 days.

"When [Gardenhire] put it that way, I felt it's a good idea for me to just go down there," Span said. "I'm eager to get back, I know that. It's been a weird last month and a half for me."

Span has been taking batting practice with the club and shagging fly balls in the outfield in recent days, but he has yet to find out how he'll feel in game situations, when the adrenaline is increased.

"I think the biggest test will be once I get out there and play," he said. "I definitely have my moments when I don't feel the best, but overall I've definitely felt better. I think once I go out there, run around and see some live pitching for those two games, I think that's going to tell me how I'm feeling."

Even so, Span expects to be on the field in Milwaukee on Thursday.

"I fought through this for a month. If I got through that and now, with two weeks off, some medicine and rehab exercises, I'll be very disappointed if I wasn't able to play on Thursday," he said. "And even more frustrated if this comes back and I don't feel like myself."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.