ATLANTA — Anthony Rendon is out of Class AA Harrisburg’s lineup for the third straight day, this time after complaining of tightness in his side, according to Nationals manager Matt Williams.
Rendon, on a rehab assignment with the Senators while recovering from a sprained left knee, played five innings at third base on Friday, then seven innings at second base on Saturday before taking a scheduled day off Sunday. He was due to play at least seven innings at second base on Monday but was scratched from the lineup after having trouble with his knee during batting practice.
“It was a little chilly there, and he had a little issue getting loose with the knee,” Williams said Monday night. “So we just decided to be safe with that.”
The Nationals hoped Rendon would return to play Tuesday, but he reported to the ballpark with tightness in his side, so the club decided to give him another day off.
“We want to make sure we don’t mess with stuff like that,” Williams said. “I think he’s fine, it’s just a question at this point of not rushing him too fast.”
Williams said Rendon reported no issues Tuesday with his knee, which was feeling better. He has been out since early March with a sprained MCL. The Nationals hope he’ll be ready to play Wednesday, when Harrisburg hosts a matinee.
“We just made sure they’re treating him down there aggressively, doing some modality stuff,” Williams said. “So I think he’ll be good tomorrow.”
Even if this is only a minor setback, it will delay Rendon’s season debut at least a few days. The Nationals want him to play a full nine innings in the field at least once, possibly more than that, before activating him off the DL. It’s still possible he’ll join the club before the end of this weekend’s series in New York, but his debut could be pushed back to early next week in Washington.
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