- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 31, 2015

VIERA, Fla. — Renowned orthopedic surgeon James Andrews echoed the Washington Nationals’ diagnosis of Anthony Rendon’s left knee injury, diagnosing a sprain in the medial collateral ligament.

“Everything is stable,” manager Matt Williams said Tuesday. “All tests are such that it is stable. There’s nothing that either of the doctors have seen that is glaring, other than they’ve said the same thing, that it’s a sprain of that ligament.”

Rendon saw Andrews in Pensacola, Florida, on Monday because of lingering soreness in his left knee. Williams confirmed that the third baseman will now seek a third opinion from Dr. Steve Singleton, a knee specialist in at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. The Washington Post first reported that Rendon would see Singleton.

Williams said Andrews did not outline a timetable for Rendon’s recovery but characterized it as a matter of weeks, not days or months, until the 24-year-old returns to the lineup.

“There’s no real timetable on it because it’s pain and it’s where he feels comfortable doing things,” Williams explained. “Once he gets through that, then he can progress. But until that subsides, it’s week to week.”

Rendon sprained the MCL in his knee while diving to field a ground ball on March 9. Though the original expectation was that he would only miss a couple of days, the soreness in his knee has lingered. He continued to feel it after participating in lateral movement drills late last week.

Williams said the Nationals hope to have Rendon back in the lineup as soon as possible, but they are also aware that the recovery will take time.

“Any time you have a sprain of that ligament, then it gets angry,” Williams said. “There’s swelling involved. The body tries to deal with it. We don’t want to push him to a serious injury. We want to make sure he’s good to go when he’s good to go.”

With the uncertainty surrounding Rendon, the Nationals started Yunel Escobar at third base Tuesday against the New York Mets. The longtime shortstop, who was expected to play second base on Opening Day, has played 22 games at third in his major-league career.

“The fact that we just don’t know what kind of time frame Anthony’s on, we have to look at all of the options that we have,” Williams said. “[Escobar] came to us and said, ‘Listen, if there’s a need for me to play third, I’d be happy to do it.’ That’s great. That’s a great attitude to have. So we have options in that regard.”

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