WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Nationals' biggest off-season acquisition is expected to be sidelined four to six weeks. Veteran catcher Paul Lo Duca has undergone surgery on the left knee he injured last week during a workout.
Washington general manager Jim Bowden tells The Associated Press, the club feels the veteran catcher will be ready for the March 30th season opener against the Atlanta Braves.
Washington's pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to spring training in Viera, Florida, on February 15th. If Lo Duca misses a large part of spring training, it would decrease the amount of time he has to get comfortable with his new club's pitching staff.
Lo Duca signed a 5-million-dollar, one-year deal as a free agent in December. The 10-year veteran was brought over from the New York
Mets less than two weeks after the Nationals traded incumbent starting catcher Brian Schneider to the Mets.
Lo Duca hit .272 with nine homers and 54 RBIs for New York last season.