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Wilson Ramos undergoes ACL surgery, out 6-8 months

Wilson Ramos threw out the first pitch before Game 1 against the Dodgers. (Alex Brandon/Associated Press)
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Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos underwent surgery on his right knee Friday to mend the anterior cruciate ligament, along with repairs to the medial meniscus and lateral meniscus, the club announced Friday afternoon. Rob Najarian, the Nationals’ lead doctor, performed the procedure.

Ramos, 29, suffered the season-ending injury Sept. 27, when he jumped and landed awkwardly on a rainy night at Nationals Park. The injury forced the Nationals to platoon Jose Lobaton and rookie Pedro Severino in their National League Division Series loss to the Dodgers, and clouded Ramos’s future.

After a better offseason-workout regimen and eye surgery in spring training that improved his vision, the Venezuelan put himself in position to garner lucrative contract offers in free agency this winter with his best season as a major leaguer. But a second ACL surgery and a six-to-eight-month recovery timetable, as the Nationals projected, would hamper Ramos’s earning potential. Based on the estimated time needed for the rehabilitation, Ramos could be ready to play any time from mid-April to mid-July.

The life-changing setback came a month after Ramos had turned down a three-year contract offer worth more than $30 million from the Nationals in August. The chances of Ramos securing a multi-year contract dwindled, and he has acknowledged that signing with an American League team makes sense because he could split time between catcher and designated hitter.

Ramos finished the season with a .307 batting average, a .850 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 22 home runs and 80 RBI in 131 games played — all career highs. He traveled with the Nationals to Los Angeles for their playoff series and threw out the first pitch before Game 1 in Washington.

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