WASHINGTON — Nationals center fielder Denard Span will be sidelined through the All-Star break because of lingering back spasms.
The leadoff hitter won't play in any of Washington's remaining four games before the All-Star game. The NL East leaders host Cincinnati on Wednesday night and play at Baltimore this weekend.
"No, no chance," Span said.
Span had an MRI this week. A specialist will examine the results Thursday, manager Matt Williams said. For now, Span won't be put on the disabled list.
Span is batting .305 with a team-high 11 stolen bases.
"I've still been maintaining my play on the field. We didn't think it was anything serious," he said. "But it's got to the point now where I've got to figure out what's going on. This is bigger than today. I want to play another 10 years so I need to figure this out."
Span missed five of Washington's last 12 games, including the final two games against the Reds.
"I'm definitely not helping the team by doing what I've been doing for the last three or four weeks, missing games here and there," Span said.
Williams deemed the injury "perplexing."
"Four or five days in a row he's great and then all of a sudden it crops up again," the manager said. "We'll get him to see a specialist and talk about it. ...Hopefully at some point (Thursday) we'll have a better answer."
Infielder Yunel Escobar (hamstring strain) is available off the bench Wednesday after sitting out Tuesday's 5-0 loss, Williams said.
The Nationals also recalled right-hander Taylor Hill and optioned righty Taylor Jordan to Triple-A Syracuse.
Hill made six appearances over two previous stints with the Nationals this season, going 0-0 with a 3.75 ERA. He went 3-3 with a 4.68 ERA in 12 starts at Syracuse.
Jordan is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in three games with Washington this season.