Wilson Ramos will undergo surgery today in Colorado to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
It’s been almost 10 weeks since the Washington Nationals’ catcher turned to his right to field a passed ball at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati and collapsed in a heap, his knee buckling beneath him.
And it’s been over six weeks since Ramos flew to Colorado for his ACL operation, only for the doctors to discover that he’d torn the meniscus as well. It’s common for the meniscus in an athlete’s knee to be impacted during an ACL injury but the Nationals were relatively certain going in that they would only be dealing with a torn ACL. Instead, what they found necessitated more work.
Ramos had the meniscus in his knee repaired on the first weekend in June and his presence in the Nationals’ clubhouse since then (at least during the times media are allowed in) has been scarce. He did make an appearance just before the All-Star break, though, and seemed in good spirits as he walked with his knee in a large brace and with the help of crutches.
The road ahead of him is still long. In addition to rehabbing the ACL, which already carried with it significant challenges and a 6-9 month timetable, he’ll continue to rehab from the meniscus surgery.
In a story I wrote in May, before it was known that he’d also injured the meniscus, former MLB catcher Chad Moeller, who caught for 11 years in the big leagues after twice tearing his ACL in college at Southern California said the process will be as much physical as it is mental for Ramos.
“It comes down to pain tolerance,” Moeller said. “The quicker you’re able to get that range of motion back, the quicker you’re able to move on with your rehab.
“That being said, he will feel fine at four months. He will feel better at six months. He will not feel normal and totally trust it for over a year.”
The Nationals aren’t expecting Ramos to be back before spring training, if that early, giving him roughly seven months from surgery until pitchers and catchers report. Since his injury, the Nationals have used four catchers with Jesus Flores assuming the starting role and Jhonatan Solano solidifying the backup job at this point. Flores is in an offensive funk this month that has brought his average down to .229 but the organization has been, on the whole, pleased with his work behind the plate.
Ramos is expected to remain in D.C. throughout his rehab this winter to conduct his physical therapy and be in close contact with the team’s doctors and trainers.
He’s is scheduled to have the surgery this morning. Check back later this afternoon for an update on how things went for him today.