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Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 08/03/2012

Wilson Ramos rehabbing after final surgery, aiming to return for spring training


(Gil Montano - REUTERS)
Wilson Ramos sat in the Nationals dugout on Thursday afternoon chatting with Jesus Flores, a fellow Venezuelan and catcher, too. Pitching coach Steve McCatty walked by, stopped in front of Ramos with a cup of water and, with a smile, deadpanned: “When’s the next surgery?”

There isn’t. Finally, after severely injuring his right knee during a game on May 12, Ramos can completely focus on recovery. Surgeons repaired his torn meniscus on June 1 and, because there was so much damage to the knee, had to wait until July 18 to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Ramos, a primary piece of the Nationals’ future, stood in the Nationals dugout, gimpy with a brace on his knee, but at least without crutches. His knee is weak but doesn’t hurt anymore. With time and physical therapy, he will build up his strength. Before his second surgery, he could only exercise his upper body. Now, he looks forward to conditioning his lower body as well.

“I feel good and I’m happy with the surgery and how everything has come along and the recovery, too,” he said.

Ramos said he hopes to begin running and start swinging the bat by December. He longs to return to action but needs to focus on his long road of physical therapy. His uncle came to the United States to help him some. But now, “I can do a lot of things by myself,” he said.

Ramos doesn’t come to Nationals Park often for games, watching them from home instead and resting his knee. He won’t play winter ball in Venezuela like he has before. His target of return: next March.

“Between now and spring training, I’m going to take my time,” he said.

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By  |  10:57 AM ET, 08/03/2012

 
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