Robles out of lineup again, getting MRI on ankle

The Nationals are without Victor Robles again tonight and now are awaiting results of an MRI taken on the center fielder's right ankle, which remains sore two days after it buckled while he rounded first base in Chicago.

Manager Davey Martinez said during his Zoom session before tonight's game against the Orioles that Robles remains day-to-day for now.

"He went to get an MRI today, we're waiting on the results," Martinez said. "As the day progressed yesterday, he got sore. So we wanted to make sure we got an MRI today."

Robles-Trots-Home-Blue-sidebar.jpgRobles got X-rays taken on the ankle Wednesday night at Wrigley Field, which revealed no fractures. The Nationals were hopeful that's all the 24-year-old would need, but when his ankle didn't show signs of improvement Thursday, they decided to send him for the MRI to determine if he suffered a sprain or other structural damage.

Though the play looked scary in the moment, Robles was able to hop to his feet and jog minutes later. He convinced Martinez and director of athletic training Paul Lessard to let him stay in the game, though after appearing to have a tough time charging in on a sinking liner to shallow center, he was pulled three innings later in favor of Andrew Stevenson.

Stevenson has been in center field since and tonight will start his second straight game there in Robles' place.

After a sluggish start to the season, Robles had enjoyed a recent uptick before suffering his injury. In six games on the road trip, he hit .412 (7-for-17) with five doubles, four RBIs, two stolen bases and a 1.206 OPS.

* Stephen Strasburg's return tonight brings the Nationals as close to 100 percent healthy as they've been all season, but they're not quite there yet and won't be until both Erick Fedde and Tanner Rainey are cleared to come off the COVID-19 injured list.

Fedde and Rainey, who were both placed on the IL on Wednesday after Fedde learned he tested positive for the coronavirus and Rainey was deemed a close contact, remain quarantined in Chicago, according to Martinez. They'll need to pass several tests before they're cleared to travel, and it's not entirely clear yet what the process will be for their return to Washington.

"Right now, they've got to run some tests. They've got to test negative," the manager said. "We're still waiting to hear back from MLB when they can join us back here, or how they're able to join us back here."

Fedde, who teammate Max Scherzer revealed has been vaccinated, is asymptomatic. Asked today if the Nationals have had any more positive tests beyond the one initial one, Martinez said they have not. Everyone on the team took its latest round of tests today, so results wouldn't be available for about 36 hours.

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