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Anthony Rendon likely will miss Opening Day for Angels

Oblique injury will sideline the Angels third baseman

Los Angeles Angels Summer Workouts Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon will likely miss the Angels’ first game on Friday against the A’s in Oakland with a sore oblique, but his status beyond that is unknown.

“More than likely he may miss a couple but we’re not ready to do anything further than that. We think he’s on a pretty good path right now,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said on a conference call Wednesday. “If we could just keep him active somehow and get him back sooner rather than later, we may choose to do that.”

Rendon felt tightness in his oblique during an intrasqaud game on July 15, and hasn’t played in a game, intrasquad or exhibition, since. If the Angels place him on the injured list to open the season, the most they could back date it is three days, so Rendon would have to miss at least a week of games before he was eligible to return.

David Fletcher is expected to fill in at third base if Rendon is out. Fletcher started 74 games at the hot corner in 2019.

With 30-player active rosters for the first two weeks of the season, it’s easier to carry an extra player, even if he might miss a few games. Maddon said based on reports from the medical staff, he’s encouraged that Rendon keeps getting incrementally better, and might be able to avoid an injured list stint.

“Let’s just play it one day at a time, and try to get him back sooner rather than later,” Maddon said. “Which may cost us maybe one guy that we’re not able to play during the first couple games, but the benefits can exceed that if we could just be patient.”

Rendon with the Nationals had stints on the injured list in each of the last two years, a left toe contusion in 2018 and a left elbow contusion in 2019. But he also averaged 146 games played the last four seasons.

The Angels first game of the regular season is Friday night in Oakland, the first game of a four-game series. The 7 p.m. game will be televised by Fox Sports West and ESPN.