Wilson Ramos pulls hamstring, expected to miss a couple weeks


(Al Behrman / AP)

Wilson Ramos will miss at least “a couple of weeks” after pulling his left hamstring while trying to beat out a throw to first base in the eighth inning of Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves, according to Manager Davey Johnson.

It’s a tough blow for the 25-year-old catcher who returned quicker and stronger than expected from a major injury to his right knee last May, and was off to a strong start. His dedication earned him the opening day start two weeks ago.

“That’s the heartbreak of the day,” Johnson said after Saturday’s game, “playing very well and hits the ball hard and tries to leg it out and pulls a hammy.”

Ramos received treatment following the game, then was sent to a hospital for an MRI. Johnson described the injury as a “deep pull” of the leg muscle. Ramos was due to evaluated by the team’s training staff. The Nationals expected to have a better sense of the injury Sunday, along with a teimetable for treatment. Ramos raced down the first base line after hitting a ground ball up the middle in the eighth inning, but appeared to walk slowly back to the dugout after being called out.

“It’s tough,” Ryan Zimmerman said. “Wilson has worked so hard to get back to where he’s at and he’s obviously a big part of this team. But having a guy like Kurt [Suzuki] here who is very capable of catching every day, … Kurt will step in and play more than he has. That’s the one good thing about this team, that we have so much depth and something like that that would really hurt another team we can kinda handle. But hopefully it’s not as bad as they think and he’ll be back soon.”

For the Nationals, Ramos’s return from a knee injury last May, when he damaged his ACL and tore his meniscus, was one of the most encouraging developments of spring training. His progress forced the Nationals to split the early catching duties between him and Suzuki, who was the everyday catcher after being acquired from Oakland late last season.

Now, Suzuki will resume his everyday duties and, Johnson said, Jhonatan Solano would be the next catcher in line to be called up from the minor leagues. According to the Auburn Citizen in New York, Solano was pulled from a game at Class AAA Syracuse game. Ramos was 6 for 20 (.300) with two home runs in six games.

“You never want to see anybody get hurt,” Suzuki said. “To see how hard he worked and how much he worked out and to get himself back to this point, to see a freak accident, it kinda sucks. A big blow because of how good he is. It’s definitely tough to swallow.”

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.

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James Wagner · April 13, 2013