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Denard Span's Injury Extent Unknown ... Due To Claustrophobia?

Denard Span was expected to return from injury just a few days after he hurt his shoulder diving for a flyball last Sunday, but the Minnesota Twins outfielder has instead missed eight straight games with a hurt shoulder. It's tough to say what exactly is wrong with Span, though, but a scheduled MRI on Tuesday was unable to give doctors a better idea of what exactly the issue is.

Not because there was a problem with the MRI machine, however -- but because Span was "too claustrophobic" to make it through sitting 35 minutes in the machine (just one day after doing that very same thing on Monday, mind you).

"I think the most important test was on my neck, and I got through that one," he said. "I'm just going to continue to rehab and push myself. We know it's not broken. Hopefully I just continue to get better and hope that I can play."

It's great that it isn't a broken neck, of course, but it definitely would have been a benefit to find out if there's anything wrong with Span's shoulder that an MRI could have found ... especially considering he was able to handle the process the day before without any claustrophobia issues getting in the way.

The Twins are hoping to avoid putting Span on the disabled list, but if he's unable to return to the lineup soon -- and they're unable to find out what exactly is wrong with him due to his issues with sitting in small machines -- the Twins might be left without a choice in that matter.

On the bright side, maybe Span can make history as being the first baseball player to be placed on the disabled list due to claustrophobia.

Check out Twinkie Town for more Minnesota baseball coverage and then head over to Baseball Nation for even more analysis from around the league.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.