Anthony Rendon tore the ligaments in his right ankle in 2009 and broke the same ankle while playing for Team USA in 2010. In his draft year, the Rice University third baseman suffered what he described after the Washington Nationals picked him sixth overall that June as, "a little muscle strain in the back of my shoulder," which limited him to mostly DH duties.
He played out the season with injury, he explained, because he wanted to help his team.
"I'm not a selfish guy," Rendon said in an early June 2011 interview.
"But I just needed to rest it, I needed to take time off, I needed to not do anything, and I didn't want to do that. I knew if I rested, if I took off maybe ten games or this or that, and I didn't play at all, you know, who knows what will happen, maybe we wouldn't have even been in the postseason. I didn't want to do that to my team, I wanted to be out there everywhere I could."
Concern over the shoulder led to Rendon being available when the Nationals' pick came up at no.6 overall that year, and Nats' GM Mike Rizzo was clear that they were perfectly comfortable with the selection.
"He had a couple of ankle surgeries and a shoulder problem this year that kept him limited to DH duties throughout most of the season," Rizzo said, "played a little bit in the field, but our medical staff has cleared his health and we feel that if that was the reason he fell to sixth, we're satisfied in the work we've done on him and we're happy to have him."
The shoulder wasn't an issue for Rendon once he started his pro career, but just two games into his 2012 campaign at Class-A Potomac he suffered a fractured left ankle rounding third base. The injury kept him out of action until mid-July.
Rendon put all those issues behind him though, worked his way up to the majors relatively quickly and eventually took over at third base with the Nationals. Last winter, he talked to reporters about being where he was in spite of injuries that could have derailed him.
"I'm fortunate enough to be in this position at all," Rendon said. "I know some people that have just one surgery and they haven't really recovered from it or they've been hindered from their playing skills.
"I've been fortunate enough, I've been blessed that after a few surgeries, I'm still up here. So, I must be doing something right. I don't know what it is yet, but I'm going to go along with it."
Rendon put up a .267/.326/.405 line with 22 doubles and seven home runs in 90 games and 364 plate appearances in 2013, finishing the year at +1.5 fWAR.
Last season, the 24-year-old infielder put up a .287/.351/.473 line with 39 doubles, six triples and 21 HRs in 153 games and 683 PAs in a +6.5 fWAR campaign.
Early this Spring, however, Rendon made a diving play at third in Space Coast Stadium and injured his left knee.
When it didn't respond as the Nationals and Rendon hoped, he underwent an MRI which revealed an MCL sprain.
Rendon hasn't returned to action since.
He hasn't been cleared to resume baseball activities.
On Monday, Mike Rizzo told reporters that Rendon had the knee examined again, this time by renowned orthopedist, Dr. James Andrews, in Pensacola, Florida.
"'We’ll see what the doc says, and we’ll take it from there,'" Rizzo told reporters, including NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman. "'Let’s see if it’s a concern when we hear back from the doctor.'"
UPDATE: Nats' skipper Matt Williams talked to reporters this morning about Rendon's visit to Dr. James Andrews:
#Nats Manager Matt Williams said a second opinion on Anthony Rendon's left knee sprain confirmed the first opinion.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 31, 2015
Andrews gave same diagnosis on Rendon: Sprained MCL. He's now getting 3rd opinion from knee specialist in Colorado.— Mark Zuckerman (@ZuckermanCSN) March 31, 2015
James Andrew's diagnosis of Rendon confirmed Nats': sprained MCL & knee is stable. He'll need rest. Seeing Dr. Steve Singleton in Vail next.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) March 31, 2015
Williams on Rendon's sprained MCL: "Anytime you have a sprain of that ligament then it's angry and there's swelling involved." #Nats— Chris Johnson (@masnCJ) March 31, 2015