Rendon might miss Nationals' opener because of sprained knee

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) Third baseman Anthony Rendon may miss the Washington Nationals' opener against the New York Mets on April 6 because of a sprained left knee.

Rendon hasn't played since March 9. When he was scratched from the starting lineup the following day, manager Matt Williams said Rendon just needed a day off. But the problem has lingers, and Rendon underwent a second MRI Tuesday on his medial collateral ligament.

''Right now it could be in jeopardy because he just simply hasn't had baseball activity to get ready,'' Williams said Wednesday of the opener. ''Does that mean he's not ready for opening day but ready four days later? Potentially, but we just don't know at this point.''

Williams said Rendon's knee has improved but still is sore.

''Everything's healing, it's just not going as fast as anybody had hoped,'' Williams said. ''What I don't want is him limping into a season and then continuing to limp all year and being frustrated by that. We need to get him better, and once he's better we can go ahead and let it go and let him play the way he's capable of playing.''

Rendon hit .287 with 21 homers last year, when he led the NL with 111 runs and finished fifth in MVP voting.

Ian Stewart has been the primary third baseman in his absence and began Wednesday with a .323 average. Danny Espinosa and Kevin Frandsen also have seen time at third following the shift of Ryan Zimmerman to first.

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