(Al Behrman/AP)

Before the surgery, the Nationals still held a sliver of hope catcher Ramos could return before the end of the season. But the severity of the damage to the ACL means he will definitely not return until spring training next season.

“That’s sad news,” Johnson said. “He’s had a tough year. My heart goes out to him.”

Ramos tore his ACL on May 12 while chasing a passed ball in Cincinnati. The Nationals diagnosed the injury by the next morning, but Ramos needed to wait for swelling to go down before surgery.

Johnson said he does not believe Ramos’s status for spring training is endangered. Given Ramos’s size and the demand of catching, he has a long rehab ahead.

“He’s such a big, strong guy, I’m sure he can take care of it,” Johnson said. “He’s a hard worker.”