Hungry Bill, it would have been best had you started a new forum thread instead of posting a question on the back of someone elses.
The anode rod is threaded into the top of the tank, it does not come out through the outlet or inlet.
If the drain valve is plastic, breaking it is of no concern since it is junk anyway. Just have a replacement ready to install. If you are going to make a habit of draining it, install a quality 1/4 turn ball valve in it's place.