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Nationals Injury Updates: Denard Span has surgery, Matt Purke starts throwing program

Washington Nationals' center fielder and leadoff man Denard Span tweeted a picture of himself post-surgery today, after the 30-year-old outfielder underwent a procedure to repair a sports hernia. There was a report on Matt Purke's recovery too...

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Denard Span finished his second season in center field in the nation's capital at +3.8 fWAR, posting a .302/.355/.416 line with 39 doubles, eight triples, five home runs and 31 stolen bases in 147 games and 668 plate appearances.

For the second straight year, Span was a finalist for the Gold Glove in center, which this season went to New York Mets' outfielder Juan Lagares.

When Washington picked up Span's $9M option for the 2015 campaign, Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo sang the 30-year-old outfielder's praises in an article by Amanda Comak at the Nats' Curly W blog:

"'Denard was arguably our most consistent offensive player in 2014, keying so much of our offensive production, and his defense in center field is Gold Glove-caliber on a nightly basis. We’re excited to keep him in the fold for the 2015 season.'"

Span's preparation for his third season with the Nationals might be delayed a little bit.

The Nationals' leadoff man broke some news on his own Twitter account this morning:

The "this" that Span was referring to there was apparently a surgical procedure for a sports hernia.

Washington Post writer James Wagner reported this afternoon that Span "tweaked" the affected area toward the end of the season "but didn’t consider it serious.":

"When he recently started offseason workouts, the injured area felt better but had not improved to the point where he felt it needed to be. He was evaluated and had the surgery."

Another Injury Update?:

According to a report by's Byron Kerr on Wednesday, 2011 Nationals' 3rd Round pick Matt Purke, who underwent shoulder surgery in 2012 and Tommy John surgery last season, has started his throwing program as he works his way back from the second major medical procedure of his professional career:

Purke, 24, has made a total of 29 starts in the Nationals' organization (at Low-A Hagerstown, High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg), going (7-12) with a 5.00 ERA, 55 walks (3.62 BB/9) and 118 Ks (7.77 K/9) in 136 ⅔ IP.

The Nationals released Purke last month, clearing a 40-Man Roster spot, but re-signed the left-hander after he cleared waivers, bringing him back to the organization on a minor league deal.