CF Span held out following tumbling catch for Nationals, Zimmerman back in lineup in LF


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Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span lunges to make a catch on a line drive ball by New York Mets' Matt den Dekker during the third inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON — Even before the game was rained out, Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span wasn't going to play.

Span wasn't in Wednesday night's lineup against the New York Mets, a day after he was removed following a tumbling catch.

Meanwhile, Ryan Zimmerman had been slotted in left field after pinch-hitting in the seventh inning Tuesday night.

Manager Matt Williams said Span could return as early as Thursday for the NL East champs. Span didn't incur any structural damage on the play, but remains sore, Williams said.

Span leads the Nationals with a .300 batting average and 31 stolen bases.

Zimmerman had been scheduled to make his second start since straining his right hamstring in late July. He was ready to play third base on Tuesday before Williams held him out because of soreness .

"We're being cautious in that regard," Williams said. "He can monitor his gait and things like that in the outfield."

Zimmerman has been limited to 55 games this season.

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