The Angels’ Rendon says the injury was a broken leg, not a bone bruise

Alden GonzalezESPN staff writerSeptember 15, 2023 at 10:14 PM ET3 minutes to read

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Anthony Rendon, speaking publicly for the first time in two months, revealed Friday that he has been diagnosed with a broken leg by doctors outside of the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels have consistently described Rendon’s injury as a deep bone bruise.

When asked why the Angels didn’t initially announce he had a broken leg, Rendon said: “You’d have to ask them.”

Angels general manager Perry Minasian did not respond to a request for comment. A source close to the team told ESPN that Rendon initially saw four doctors — two chosen by the Angels, two chosen by Rendon’s side — and they diagnosed him with a deep bone bruise. A fifth doctor diagnosed him with a broken leg. Rendon, who did not provide details about the procedure, said the fracture diagnosis occurred while the team was visiting his hometown to play the Houston Astros during the second week of August.

Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras, said Rendon’s doctors and the Angels’ medical staff were nonetheless “on board” with his treatment plan, denying there was a disconnect between the two sides.

“We talked about how bad the bone bruise was when he did that, that it even resembled a fracture,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “Bone bruise, fracture, either way, he is unable to play now, and we are trying to get him back to where he is.”

Rendon, 33, initially suffered the injury while hitting a ball into his lower left leg in San Diego on July 4, and has only begun participating in light baseball activities in recent weeks, doing some light running exercises. If Rendon doesn’t return before the end of the regular season — a long shot, considering the Angels’ final game is two and a half weeks away — he will have played in 148 of a possible 486 games from 2021-2023. In the hip, thigh, hamstrings, kneecaps and wrists.

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Rendon still owes another $114 million over the next three years. When asked if he intended to play next season, Rendon was noncommittal, saying only that he was taking it day by day. When asked why he did not speak out sooner in order to combat public perception from fans questioning his desire to play, Rendon said: “I don’t care. They don’t know the facts.”

A medical source told ESPN that the treatment and return-to-play plan is similar for a deep bone bruise and a broken leg, though timelines differ within Major League Baseball. Andre Ethier suffered a broken leg while with the Los Angeles Dodgers in March 2016 and was absent from the team for approximately six months; Tommy La Stella suffered a broken leg with the Angels in July 2019 and was out for nearly two months.

Nevin said he’s not worried about how the diagnosis will affect Rendon’s season or his availability for next year.

“I don’t look at it that way,” Nevin said. “He intensified everything he did there. The treatment of a bone contusion, from my understanding – a bone contusion, a fracture, to the degree that it is, they’re all treated the same way and the rehabilitation is all the same. It’s not a bone.” “This is coming out of the skin. It’s a manageable thing given his pain tolerance. It’s obviously a painful thing; I’ve said that all along. This is a very painful deal for him. But he’s, at least, past that point, and he’s able to do some things.” “On the treadmill and on the bike, doing some baseball. The encouraging part is that he feels much better. Whichever one it is, it will be treated the same either way.”

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