Robles exits with left knee contusion after running into fence

March 8th, 2023

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Nationals center fielder left Wednesday’s game against the Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium after he injured his left knee by running into the center-field wall.

Robles chased down Spencer Torkelson’s 410-foot drive to center in the second inning, catching the ball on the warning track. He had just enough time to slow down as he approached the wall, just where it starts turning towards left-center. Once Robles made impact, however, he struggled to move his leg, eventually falling to the ground.

“When he ran into the wall, there’s a pipe behind the wall, and he hit that,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He’s got a bruise on top of his kneecap, but everything else checked out fine.”

Martinez and the athletic training staff ran out to attend to Robles, eventually pulling him from the game. He tried to limp off, but he ultimately needed the help of a cart to make it back to the clubhouse for medical attention.

“I’ve run out more for him than any player, I think, I’ve ever had,” Martinez said. “But that’s the way he plays the game. He plays aggressive. Heck of a catch. He ran a long way to catch the ball. Hopefully he’s down for a few days and he’ll get back out there.”

Lane Thomas moved from right field to take Robles’ place in center, while Alex Call moved from left to right. Daylen Lile entered the game in left.

The 25-year-old Robles has been enjoying a solid Spring Training, batting 6-for-17 (.353), including a first-inning single Wednesday off Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez. He also has three doubles and a triple. Any long-term absence for Robles would be a huge loss for a young Nationals outfield and lineup.