- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy said Wednesday that “it’s reasonable to expect I won’t be in the Opening Day lineup.”

Manager Dave Martinez was previously hopeful that Murphy, who is recovering from surgery on his right knee, could make it back in time for the start of the 2018 regular season.

“We have guys that can step in,” Martinez said Wednesday. “We’re going to miss him for sure, but with those guys in the lineup, we’re going to be fine.”

Murphy, who underwent the procedure in October, started to take live batting practice at Nationals spring training earlier this month.

He said whenever he does return to the lineup, it will be later than he’d hoped, “but it doesn’t mean it will be wrong.”

“I think naturally for any athlete, I’m going to come back later than I wanted to,” Murphy said. “Due to the fact that this is the first time I’ve had microfracture surgery, I wasn’t really certain what to expect.”

The Nationals open the 2018 season March 29 at the Cincinnati Reds.

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