Washington Nationals center fielder Denard Span (2) bats during a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Thursday, June 25, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Alex Brandon
August 28, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) Nationals center fielder Denard Span will have surgery on his left hip next week and the leadoff man is likely out for the season.

Washington manager Matt Williams said Friday that Span had problems in the labrum. The surgery is set for Tuesday.

''He's got some damage in there that needs to get fixed,'' Williams said.

The 31-year-old Span already has missed 52 games in two stints on the disabled list with back and abdominal ailments. The Nationals began the day 6 1/2 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East.

''He's had some hip pain,'' Williams said. ''That type of pain is all kind of connected, hip, back, stomach. So tests were taken and showed the need to have it repaired.''

Span had just returned from the DL to play on Tuesday and Wednesday night, but was held out Thursday. After the game, Williams said Span's back issues had resurfaced and could end his season.

The outfielder was put on the 15-day disabled list Friday, retroactive to Thursday.

In 61 games, Span is batting .301 with five home runs and 22 RBIs. He'll be a free agent at the end of the season.

In a Washington season rife with injuries, Span's absence at the top of the lineup has been significant. Entering Friday, the Nationals are 36-25 (a .590 winning percentage) when Span starts and 28-37 (.431) when he doesn't, according to STATS.

Washington recalled outfielder Matt den Dekker from Triple-A Syracuse.

The news was better regarding outfielder Michael Taylor, who came out of Thursday's game after crashing into the wall trying to make a catch in the seventh inning. He bruised his right knee, but appeared to have escaped serious injury

''It was pretty sore last night when I came out of the game, but I feel pretty good today,'' said Taylor, who was not in Friday's lineup against Miami but was available off the bench.

''I banged my knee pretty good when I went into the wall, but nothing was broken or torn,'' he said.

Facing Marlins left-hander Adam Conley, Washington's lineup Friday included Jayson Werth in right field, Bryce Harper moving over to center and switch-hitter Danny Espinosa, normally an infielder, starting in left.

Third baseman Yunel Escobar, who left in the sixth inning Thursday night after getting hit on the right hand with the bases loaded, was also out of the Friday lineup and is day-to-day.

Williams said Escobar was sore, but there was no indication he would need further tests.

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