Rendon reveals fractured tibia diagnosis from mid-August

September 16th, 2023

ANAHEIM -- Ever since going on the injured list with what was originally diagnosed as a left shin contusion sustained on a foul ball hit off the shin on July 4, Angels third baseman had declined to give any clarification to the media until Friday.

But before an 11-2 loss to the Tigers, Rendon held a rare session with the media and revealed for the first time that he was diagnosed with a fractured left tibia in mid-August. He said he sought another opinion because he was concerned with how long it was taking his shin to heal.

The Angels, however, had never revealed that diagnosis, instead stating that Rendon was dealing with a deep bone bruise and bleeding inside the bone. According to a source familiar with the situation, Rendon saw four doctors -- two picked by the Angels and two picked by him -- that found no fracture until Rendon consulted a fifth doctor in Houston who found a fracture in his tibia in mid-September.

“A lot of people don’t know about it,” Rendon said. “Tibia fractures take forever. It was a fracture. I got images. I was still in pain. I kept reaching out to more doctors. I wanted an answer on why I was feeling more pain, so I got more images.”

Asked why the Angels never announced that diagnosis, Rendon said, “You have to ask them.”

General manager Perry Minasian didn’t respond to a request to comment but manager Phil Nevin acknowledged that Rendon had received imaging on his own last month but said the timeline and treatment is essentially the same for a deep bone bruise and a fracture. Rendon’s agent, Scott Boras, also confirmed that the treatment is the same for both injuries and that the Angels’ training staff was handling the rehab process correctly.

“I’m not on the medical side of it but we talked about how bad the bone bruise was and how that it's similar to what a fracture is,” Nevin said. “Bone bruise, fracture, either way he's unable to play right now. A bone bruise and a fracture, it’s all treated the same. The rehab was all the same. It's not like it was a bone that's coming out of the skin.”

As for returning this year, Rendon said he’s been participating in baseball activities recently but didn’t know if he’ll have enough time to get ready to play. Rendon wouldn’t specify what he’s been doing but Nevin said last week that Rendon has been hitting off a tee and doing some light running.

Rendon, 33, acknowledged it’s been another difficult year plagued by injuries, as he’s been limited to just 43 games after playing in only 58 games in 2021 and 47 in ’22. He's hit .236/.361/.318 with two homers and 22 RBIs, while also committing eight errors at third base. He also missed 21 games with a left groin strain suffered in mid-May and nine games with a left wrist contusion sustained in mid-June.

“It’s definitely frustrating, I feel like we have the same conversation every few months,” Rendon said. “It’s how I’ve felt the last three years. It’s frustrating.”

Rendon signed a seven-year deal worth $245 million before the 2020 season and is still owed roughly $38.5 million annually in 2024, '25 and '26. When asked about his future, Rendon said he's only focused on the present. And when asked about if he’s considered retirement, he quipped that it has been on his mind for some time.

“I’ve been contemplating that for the last 10 years,” Rendon said with a smile.

He also added that he doesn’t have any issues with the Angels despite another tough season. The Angels haven’t had a winning record since Rendon joined the organization and are about to miss the postseason for the ninth straight year.

“I love Anaheim,” Rendon said. “I love the Angels. Every organization has their ups and downs. But it’s nothing I hadn’t been through in D.C.”

Nevin was asked if he believed the injury is something that could affect Rendon into the offseason and next year, but said he didn’t believe that to be the case.

"I don't look at it that way," Nevin said. “It's something that is manageable under his pain tolerance. Obviously it's a painful thing, I've said that all along. This is an extremely painful deal for him. But he's gotten past that point, and he's able to do some things on the treadmill and on the bike, he's doing some baseball activities. The encouraging part is he's feeling a lot better.”