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Stanton feels better, x-rays on neck negative, expects to play in spring opener Saturday

JUPITER -- Marlins All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was in good spirits Thursday morning -- and feeling better -- a day after being struck in the back of the head by a Jose Fernandez fastball.

"It all checked out fine," Stanton said of the precautionary x-rays taken on his neck after practice Wednesday. 

"I was pretty loopy I must say yesterday. But for the most part I feel fine. [I'm] back. But we're going to see how much activity [I do] in the weight room. I'd like to at least get some hitting in today. It's probably smarter not to do much. I'll go according to what I'm feeling and what makes sense."

Stanton said Wednesday his vision was blurry for a few hours after getting plunked. The 23-year-old slugger said the ball got him just below the helmet, between the base of his skull and the top of his neck. But eventually, he said, that blurriness went away.

Stanton said he expects to play in the Marlins spring opener Saturday against the Cardinals. 

Asked about the ball that hit him, Stanton joked: "I don't know. I think it's like half of a baseball now." 

As for Fernandez, the Marlins' top prospect, he said he feels relieved Stanton is fine.

"It's still kind of tough, but I feel better that it's not that bad," Fernandez said.