Anthony Rendon‘s return to the Washington Nationals’ lineup has been delayed yet again. Rendon, who has been rehabbing a strained MCL in his left knee with Double-A Harrisburg had been in and out of the lineup the past week dealing with pain in his left side. Yesterday, that pain was diagnosed as a strained oblique by team doctor Dr. Wiemi Douoguih.
Nationals’ manager Matt Williams spoke on the injury after his team’s 6-4 win over the Miami Marlins yesterday, “We’re gonna have to slow his progress down a little bit,” said Williams. “He’s felt it for the last couple days, so we’re going to have to sit him a little bit longer and make sure it’s okay before he resumes activity. It’s just not getting loose for him. So there’s a little strain in there and we’ve gotta take care of it and knock that out before he gets back at it.”
Rendon will stay in Washington with the team at this point and will undergo further testing today to determine the severity of the strain. For now, he will be held out of all baseball related activities until further notice. The oblique strain is very similar to the injury suffered by Yunel Escobar during Spring Training. Escobar was forced to take 10 days of rest by his injury and has not been hampered so far this season while filling in capably for Rendon at third base.
While Williams threw out the 10 days that Escobar missed this Spring, a clear timetable on Rendon’s recovery cannot be determined until after today’s examination. When Rendon is cleared to return to baseball activities, he will likely require a few days to build back up and then begin a short minor league rehab assignment. Dodgers’ medical director Stan Conte has studied oblique injuries extensively, and found that position players miss an average total of 26 days when all is said and done with oblique injuries.
The Washington Nationals, expected to run away with the National League East, have stumbled to a 13-14 start. Offensive woes have helped contribute to the slow start. Rendon will likely be back before the end of May, which should give the Nationals’ lineup a significant boost.