The Washington Times - May 16, 2012, 06:42PM

Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos wore a backward hat, shorts and t-shirt as he slowly made his way into the Nationals’ clubhouse on Wednesday. His bag was carefully slung across his body, resting on his back so as to be out of the way of his crutches.

Ramos’ right knee was encased in a large brace, his right leg noticeably more swollen than his left. And, while he tried, it was tough for him to put an optimistic spin on his prognosis.

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“I’m not coming back this season,” he said, before adding quickly “But I will be good for next season.”

That is the cold reality for Ramos, who tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Saturday night attempting to field a passed ball. His surgery has not yet been scheduled. The doctors told him they’ll wait two or three weeks for the swelling to go down before they operate, but he’s been assured it is just an ACL tear. 

“They say it’s normal surgery,” Ramos said. 

Ramos is one of 10 Nationals who have already been placed on the disabled list this season. Even his replacement on the Nationals’ roster, Sandy Leon, suffered a high ankle sprain two days after Ramos was hurt. But no others, to this point, have cost a player their entire season. Ramos is the only one.

After surviving a harrowing kidnapping this past offseason in Venezuela, Ramos talked this spring about looking forward to getting back to baseball and the grind of the season. He was looking forward to building on his strong rookie campaign and was hitting .265 with a .354 on-base percentage. He hit his third home run of the season earlier Saturday before he got hurt.

“I was so down (after the injury on Saturday),” Ramos admitted, the pain in his knee still present with any movement. “That’s a whole season. But I will take my good rehab and after that I’m going to come back and play.” 

Ramos will remain in D.C. before and after surgery, he said.

“I want to stay here,” he said. “I don’t want to go back to Venezuela. It’s better if I stay here, bring my mom, my family, to take care of me.”