VIERA, Fla. -- The Nationals are shutting down third baseman Anthony Rendon for a few days, after an MRI revealed a mild MCL sprain in his left knee.
Rendon was a late scratch from the team's lineup on Wednesday with swelling in the knee, but the Nats believed he could return for Friday's game against the Astros. Rendon will avoid baseball activity for a few days until the soreness passes.
"It's mild, but it wasn't getting better as quickly as we thought it was and he wanted it to be," manager Matt Williams said.
Rendon injured his knee while making a diving stop at third base during the sixth inning of Monday's 2-1 loss to the Braves. He stayed in the game after making the play and even singled in the bottom of the inning. It was not until later in the day, after he cooled down after the game, that Rendon reported feeling any pain.
Rendon is the latest of the Nationals' position players to go down with an injury this spring. Second baseman Yunel Escobar has a strained left oblique. Center fielder and leadoff man Denard Span had surgery Monday to repair a tear in right core muscle. Jayson Werth and Nate McLouth are still rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery.
"We see it all around baseball," Williams said. "Where the normal stuff that we do on an everyday basis, you can have things go wrong. But we have to deal with it."
Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.