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UPDATE: Rendon has oblique strain; updates on Janssen & Johnson

May 4, 2015, 10:48 PM EST

[Updated 10:49 p.m.]

Anthony Rendon has been diagnosed with an oblique strain after meeting with Nationals orthopedist Dr. Wiemi Douoguih on Monday, an injury that will end his minor league rehab assignment on terms that are anything but ideal.

The 24 year old came to Washington on Monday after sitting out of games with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators in consecutive days, complaining of tightness in his side. Now he will remain with the team and wait until he can resume baseball activities.

“We’re gonna have to slow his progress down a little bit,” Nationals manager Matt Williams said.

“He’ll stay here until he’s ready to play… 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.”

Williams compared Rendon’s injury to the oblique strain Yunel Escobar had in spring training. Escobar was shut down for 10 days before he started practicing again. Rendon is likely to miss at least several weeks as he goes through the process of resting and then working his way back to game action.

“We’ve gotta make sure we tae care of it. We’ll get a test on it. We’ll look at it,” Williams said. “We’ll have to see how Anthony reacts. There’s no timetable on it until we fully assess it.”

Rendon missed the last two games on his rehab assignment with the oblique injury after working nearly two months to return from a sprained left MCL. He originally hurt his knee on March 9 while playing defense in a spring training game. He then received several opinions on the injury, including one from Dr. James Andrews.

Rendon began his rehab assignment on April 24 and played two games with Harrisburg before taking a day off. He was then scratched on April 26 when he felt discomfort in his knee. The next day he missed another game with what was revealed as side tightness.

Rendon returned to Harrisburg’s lineup on Friday and played five innings. He then missed both games over the weekend due to his oblique.

Rendon, 24, finished fifth in NL MVP voting in 2014 after hitting .287 with 21 home runs, 83 RBI, 111 runs and 17 stolen bases.

Janssen close to beginning rehab assignment

The Nationals’ bullpen could soon get a significant boost, as offseason acquisition Casey Janssen is just days away from beginning a rehab assignment as he recovers from right shoulder tendinitis.

The right-hander could begin rehab games as soon as Thursday after throwing an inning at extended spring training on Monday.

Manager Matt Williams described Janssen’s timetable before Monday’s game against the Miami Marlins:

“Well, he’s got to make sure that he gets through the normal spring training-ish work. So that would mean that he would get, certainly in a more competitive game, not so much controlled. So that’s probably Thursday, if all goes well and he feels good, and then we’d have to get him a back-to-back as well like we always want to do with relievers. So that progression is a normal spring training progression. So it depends on how he feels. But today was good.”

Jansse, 33, has yet to appear with the Nationals after signing as a free agent on Feb. 2. The eight-year MLB veteran spent the first part of his career with the Toronto Blue Jays and has a 3.52 ERA in 389 total games.

Reed Johnson has surgery, will be out a while

Outfielder Reed Johnson had surgery to repair the peroneus longus tendon in his left leg over the weekend, Nationals manager Matt Williams announced. Johnson’s timetable has not been determined by the team as of yet, but it is possible he could miss the rest of the season.

“Reed had surgery. He ruptured the tendon,” Williams explained. “The doctor went in there repaired it, and the good thing is that it was repairable, and put it all back together. He’s had surgery. He’s home resting. He’s on the road to recovery.”

Johnson, 38, was removed from the Nats’ April 28 game against the Braves after he felt a pop in his foot. Through 12 games this year he was hitting 4-for-18 with two RBI. Johnson signed with the Nationals on March 30.

  1. virginiascopist - May 4, 2015 at 5:35 PM

    So there’s a time limit on how long a player can be on a rehab assignment before rejoining the team — I thought it was 21 days. If, as it looks like, Rendon exceeds that, does he have to be put back on the DL. Can’t he be optioned to the minors and then, assuming he’s ready, called up sooner than if he had been put on the DL again?

    • ICYMI - May 4, 2015 at 6:35 PM

      He doesn’t have to be put back on the DL, he hasn’t come off it yet. He can stay on the DL as long as he needs to. 15 days is the minimum, there is no maximum.

    • Section 222 - May 4, 2015 at 11:10 PM

      Right ICYMI. You don’t come off the DL until you come back to the 25 man roster. He’s still on the DL when he’s rehabbing.

  2. Eugene in Oregon - May 4, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Ouch.

  3. natsfan1a - May 5, 2015 at 7:22 AM

    On the DL, off the DL. Just get better.

  4. davebinmd - May 5, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    A club may send a player on the DL to the minor leagues for a rehab assignment lasting a maximum of 20 days for position players and 30 days for pitchers.

    Now that Rendon has been shut-down, his rehab assignment clock will start over again once he’s ready to get back into minor league games.

  5. ward5nedc - May 5, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    Perhaps 4-6 weeks more?

  6. cvillegoodtimes - May 5, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    More and more it seems that Rendon will end up being a lot like Tulo. A great player, but the question is always how long he will stay on the field. When he has long stretches of healtht then he will be an MVP candidate, but those years will not be regular.

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